Masks will still be required at Islam's holiest sites in Mecca and Medina, where pilgrims gather for worship, according to the new rules. Organizers of events and festivals can continue to require masks if they wish. The kingdom additionally dropped a rule requiring proof of vaccination on a mobile app that was required before entry to certain places, events and to board planes.
Meanwhile, in neighboring United Arab Emirates, the government is stressing the importance of wearing masks indoors amid a 100% jump in cases in less than a week. The country of 9 million residents has around 1,300 confirmed new cases daily, despite high rates of vaccination.