The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has announced it will allow a limited number of Hajj pilgrims in 2021 despite the COVID-19 crisis, APA reports citing Premium Times.
The Gulf country confirmed the news Saturday with details regarding health standards and COVID-19 prevention protocols.
As part of the standards, Saudi health ministry said, “pilgrims MUST have had both doses of the vaccine with a Vaccination card provided by the individual countries Health Organisation.”
It also noted that only 60,000 people will be scheduled to perform Hajj this year.
This number, the ministry said, includes local and foreign pilgrims.
Saudi Arabia barred foreigners from hajj last year for the first time in the kingdom’s modern history, allowing only a limited number of Saudi citizens and residents.
But this year’s decision, according to the ministry, is based on the “country’s keenness to enable the guests and visitors of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque to perform the rituals of Hajj and Umrah.”
Before the advent of COVID, and enforced social distancing globally, about 2.5 million pilgrims used to visit the holiest sites of Islam in Mecca and Medina for the week-long haj, and the lesser, year-round umrah pilgrimage.
In its statement, the Saudi ministry gave the following conditions for Hajj 2021:
1) Only 60,000 Hujjaj will be scheduled to perform Hajj this year which includes local and foreign pilgrims.
2) Those performing Hajj MUST be between the age of 18-60 years of Age.
3) Those performing Hajj MUST be in a good state of health.
4) Those performing Hajj MUST not have been in hospital for any illness within the past 6 months prior to travelling for Hajj. (Proof Is Required)
5) The pilgrims MUST have had both doses of the vaccine with a Vaccination card provided by the individual countries Health Organisation / Hospital / Ministry. (Proof Required)
6) The Vaccine taken MUST be on the approved list that is recognised by the Ministry of Health within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
7) The pilgrims MUST Quarantine for 3 days if they are classed as foreign pilgrims as soon as they arrive in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
8) The 1st dose of the vaccine MUST have been taken by the 1st Shawaal 1442. Note: This day has passed and was the day of the Eid Ul Fitr 1442.