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Hajj to Return to Pre-COVID Numbers: Saudi Officials

In a very pleasant development, and a very good news to the millions of Muslims worldwide, the annual hajj will return to pre-pandemic levels this year after removing COVID-19 restrictions.

Saudi Hajj and Umrah Minister Tawfiq bin Fawzan al-Rabiah announced this yesterday (Monday, Jan 9), in a hajj conference in Jeddah.

“I bring you two bits of good news in this meeting. The first: The return of the numbers of pilgrims to what they were before the pandemic without any age restrictions,” al-Rabiah said, according to the state-run Saudi Press Agency.

“And the second: Allowing any hajj mission from around the world to deal with any licensed company that meets the requirements of the pilgrims of those countries,” he added.

📚 Read Also: Hajj 101: Here’s How Muslims Perform Hajj

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The Saudi ministry of hajj and umrah also said in a Tweet that the kingdom will impose no restrictions, including age limits, for this season.

Hajj is an important event in the Islamic calendar as millions of Muslims gather every year in Saudi Arabia city of Makkah to perform the life-time journey.

In 2019, more than 2.4 million people took part in hajj. However, in 2020, amid the coronavirus lockdowns, the Kingdom drastically curtailed the hajj with as few as 1,000 residents of Saudi Arabia permitted to take part.

In 2021, the number increased to 60,000 residents of Saudi Arabia, and last year, nearly 900,000 pilgrims  performed hajj.