Saudi Bars Overseas Pilgrims Due to COVID

This year's Hajj pilgrimage will be limited to 60,000 residents and nationals living in the Kingdom

No foreign pilgrims will be allowed to perform Hajj this year after Saudi Arabia restricted the pilgrimage to citizens and residents.

It has also set a maximum of 60,000 pilgrims due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“In light of what the whole world is witnessing from the continuing developments of the coronavirus pandemic and the emergence of new mutations, Hajj registration will be limited to residents and citizens from inside the Kingdom only,” the ministry said in a Twitter thread, Al-Arabiya reported.

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The ministry has also set the limits of hajj pilgrims between the ages of 18-65 and are fully vaccinated or have received their first dose at least 14 days prior. Also those who have recovered from a COVID-19 infection are allowed to register, the ministry added.

“The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah confirms that the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia always prioritizes the safety, health and security of pilgrims,” the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

No further details were released on this year’s safety and preventative measures.

However, last year, the group was required to self-isolate at home seven days prior to arriving in Mecca, as part of the requirements to participate in the pilgrimage.

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COVID-19 Hajj

Earlier this month, Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation, cancelled hajj pilgrimage for the second year in a row due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.

Before the pandemic, Makkah used to see millions of Muslims from around the world pouring in to perform Hajj.

In 2020, Hajj was like no other due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced Saudi government to cut the number of pilgrims to only 1000 to curb the spread of the deadly virus.

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.