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Muslims begin scaled-back Hajj pilgrimage

Special measures: The Grand Mosque was much less crowded than last year (below) PICTURES: GETTY

MUSLIMS have arrived at Islam’s holiest site in Mecca for the start of a down-sized Hajj reshaped by the coronavirus pandemic.

Pilgrims taking part in this year’s five-day event, which usually attracts 2.5million people, distanced themselves as they walked around the Kaaba — the shrine at the centre of the Grand Mosque.

Saudi Arabia has limited attendees this year to 10,000 people who live in the kingdom. They have been tested for Covid-19 and have to stay in quarantine for a week after Hajj ends.