Pilgrimage open to those under 65 years and have received Covid-19 vaccinations approved by Saudi
Saudi Arabia said Saturday it will permit one million Muslims from inside and outside the country to participate in this year’s haj.
The Ministry of Haj and Umrah “has authoriZed one million pilgrims, both foreign and domestic, to perform the hajj this year,” it said in a statement.
It is “open to those who are under 65 years old and have received the main Covid-19 vaccinations approved by the Saudi Ministry of Health,” Saturday’s statement said.
The government wants to ensure pilgrims’ safety “while ensuring that the maximum number of Muslims worldwide can perform the hajj.”
A particular number of pilgrims from each specific country will be allowed to make the pilgrimage based on allocated quotas.
Those coming from outside Saudi Arabia will be required to submit a negative Covid-19 PCR result from a test taken within 72 hours of travel.
One of the five pillars of Islam, the haj must be undertaken by all Muslims with the means at least once in their lives. Usually one of the world’s largest religious gatherings, about 2.5 million people took part in 2019.
But after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, Saudi authorities allowed only 1,000 pilgrims to participate. In 2021, they upped the total to 60,000 fully vaccinated residents chosen through a lottery.