Riyadh: Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, this would be the first time Saudi Arabia has decided to allow one million people from all over the world, to perform Hajj this year, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Saturday.
The Ministry of Haj and Umrah has announced that it has authorised one million pilgrims, both foreign and domestic, to perform the haj this year.
The ministry said that the Kingdom is keen on ensuring that the maximum number of Muslims worldwide can perform Haj and visit the Prophet’s Mosque in a safe and spiritual atmosphere.
The number of pilgrims coming from specific countries for this year’s Haj will be in accordance with the quotas allocated to each country and in consideration of compliance with all health recommendations.
Key points for Haj 2022
- One million Hujjaj will be scheduled to perform Haj this year which includes local and foreign pilgrims.
- Those performing Haj must be under the 65 years of age.
- Those performing Haj must be in a good stated of health.
- The vaccine taken must be on the approved list that is recognised by the ministry of health within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
- The pilgrims coming from outside the Kingdom are required to submit a negative COVID-19 PCR test result performed within 72 hours of the time of departure to the Kingdom.
The Ministry of Haj and Umrah stressed the need for pilgrims to adhere to precautionary measures and follow preventive instructions while performing their rituals in order to preserve their health and safety.
With the beginning of Ramzan 2022 on April 2, the Grand Mosque has witnessed a large crowd of pilgrims and visitors. Teams are in place to ensure that pilgrims can move around, locate the new prayer halls and enter and leave easily and safely.
The Kingdom authorities have recently eased measures for worshipers as the kingdom on March 5 has relaxed most restrictions against COVID-19. This included scrapping social distancing among worshipers at the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque. Still, worshippers are required to wear face masks.
What is Haj?
Haj is one of the five pillars of Islam, a once-in-a-lifetime duty for every able-bodied Muslim who can afford it.
2020 witnessed an exceptional season for Haj, and in consideration of the “COVID-19” pandemic. The number of pilgrims at that time was limited to about 10,000 from inside Saudi Arabia only, compared to about 2.5 million pilgrims in 2019 from all parts of the world.
In 2021, 58,745 domestic pilgrims performed Haj to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Saudi Arabia had announced the successful conclusion of Haj season 2021, free from the COVID-19 and other contagious diseases.