Saudi Arabia Allows Around 1,000 Residents for 2020 Hajj

  • Selected pilgrims should be below 65 years old and free from chronic diseases
  • Self-isolation will also be made compulsory before and after Hajj
  • Medical tests would also be carried out before arrival

Saudi Arabia announced on Tuesday the conditions for observing Hajj this season, noting that around 1,000 domestic pilgrims would be allowed to perform Hajj to protect public health due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Minister of Health Tawfiq Al-Rabiah told a press conference that the selected pilgrims should be below 65 years old and free from chronic diseases, Arab News reported.

He explained that to prevent COVID-19 from spreading among pilgrims, the health ministry, in collaboration with the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, have developed preventative and precautionary measures to mitigate the spread of the virus.

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“Only people residing in the Kingdom, who are under 65 years of age and who do not have chronic diseases will be allowed to perform Hajj this year,” Al-Rabiah said.

“They will get tested before arriving to the holy sites and will be subject to self-isolation after performing hajj.”

Assuring Safety

Al-Rabiah said Saudi Arabia is capable of ensuring pilgrims’ safety this year.

“The health ministry has accumulated experience in the service of pilgrims. Thus it has enough human and technical capacities to serve pilgrims and preserve their health,” he said.

He added that an integrated hospital at holy sites would be provided. A health center in Arafat would also be offered in case of emergencies during hajj.

Saudi officials announced Monday that hajj this year would be allowed only for a limited number of people.

Millions of Muslims typically make the pilgrimage to Makkah every year, with nearly 2.5 million doing so in 2019. 

Hajj ceremonies symbolize the essential concepts of the Islamic faith. It commemorates the trials of Prophet Abraham and his family.

Every able-bodied adult Muslim who can financially afford the trip must perform Hajj at least once in a lifetime.