Saudi Arabia Bars Foreigners from Hajj, Limits Participation to 60,000 Residents - THISDAY
Saudi Arabia has said it will limit registration for this year’s Hajj pilgrimage to citizens and residents of the Kingdom.
The Saudi government hinged its decision on the coronavirus pandemic, adding that a total of 60,000 pilgrims who are citizens and residents will be allowed to perform the pilgrimage this year.
By this announcement, Nigerians and other intending pilgrims from other countries will not be participating in this year’s Hajj.
A statement by the Ministries of Health and Hajj Saturday said the decision was “based on the Kingdom’s constant keenness to enable the guests and visitors at the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque to perform the rituals of Hajj and Umrah.”
Noting that, “The Kingdom puts human health and safety first,” the ministry said those wishing to perform Hajj must be free of any chronic diseases, and to be within the ages from 18 to 65 years for those vaccinated against the virus according to the Kingdom’s vaccination measures.
Saudi authorities also said Hajj pilgrims should be fully vaccinated, or those who took one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days before, or those who are vaccinated after recovering from coronavirus infection.
Arab News noted that a deputy to the Hajj minister said that Saudi Arabia found great understanding from Muslim countries over the decision to limit this year’s pilgrimage participants.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation has welcomed Saudi Arabia’s decision to limit Hajj2021 to pilgrims from within the Kingdom.