Saudi Arabia limits Hajj to citizens and residents only

Riyadh: The Saudi ministry of Hajj and Umrah on Saturday announced the exclusivity to Hajj pilgrimage 2021 for the citizens and the residents of the Kingdom for the second time in a row, the Saudi press agency reported.

“Saudi ministry declares the permitted limit of availability of registration for those wishing to perform the Hajj rituals for the year 1442 AH to citizens and residents inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia only, with a total of 60,000 pilgrims,” SPA said in a tweet.

Saudi ministry stressed the need for the health status of those wishing to perform Hajj (which begins mid-July) to be free of chronic diseases, and to be within the age groups from 18 to 65 years for those vaccinated, in accordance with the controls and mechanisms followed in the Kingdom for immunization categories.

The ministry stated that the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia always attaches great importance to the safety, health and security of pilgrims, and places this at the forefront of its priorities.

Limitations and requirements for Hajj 2021:

  • Only 60,000 Hujjaj will be scheduled to perform Hajj this year which includesresidents of all nationalities and citizens in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
  • The health condition of those wishing to perform the Hajj rituals for the year 1442 must be free of chronic diseases.
  • Performing the Hajj rites for this year 1442 will be limited to age groups from 18 to 65 years who have received the vaccine, according to the controls and mechanisms followed in the Kingdom for immunization categories (immunized, or vaccinated who completed one dose and spent 14 days, or vaccinated recovering from infection).
  • Those performing Hajj must not have been in hospital for any illness within the past six months prior to travelling for Hajj. (proof Is required)
  • The process of verifying access to vaccines is Electronic. All operations will be electronic to prevent any fraud-related operations.
  • The Kingdom has adopted the four vaccines for Hajj 1422 pilgrims because they have proven their effectiveness, and that is because they are subject to research and studies, and if any vaccine is approved later, it will be applied to pilgrims and citizens.
  • Registration will be made available on the electronic platforms for pilgrims in two stages so that there is no great pressure on the registration process.
  • The Hajj portal will open from June 13 (3 Dul Qadah 1442 H) at 1 pm for citizens and residents inside the Kingdom till June 13 (13 Dul Qadah 1442 H at 10 pm.
  • Priority will be given to registration for Hajj this year for those who did not perform Hajj during the past five years.
  • Those who have immune status on Tawakalna application can apply.
  • Selecting and buying packages will start on from June 25 (15 Dul Qadah 1442 H at 1 pm.

For Arafah :

  • A bus will be specified for each group and a seat number will be assigned to each pilgrim during the entire trip, with follow-up on the implementation of precautionary measures when getting on and off the buses.
  • Pilgrims will not be allowed to stand during the journey.
  • Families will be allowed to sit together.
  • If a pilgrim has COVID-19 the bus will be disinfected and other procedures will follow.
  • The number of passengers will not exceed 50 per cent of the total capacity.
  • In the bus, there will be an empty seat between each passenger.
  • Passengers must carry their luggage.
  • Food should only be prepackaged.
  • Preventing of gatherings and maintain social distancing. 
  • The number of pilgrims will not exceed 50 per 50 square meters of the area of the tents.

Other Notes :

  • Pilgrims will be provided with stones in sterilised bags packed by the organizer.

The pilgrims departure to and from the Jamarat facility must be scheduled so that the number does not exceed 50 pilgrims for each floor of the Jamarat facility.

Notes for Masjid Al Haram :

  • Pilgrims must have a permit to perform the Hajj from the electronic Hajj portal or via an electronic application.
  • Pilgrims must ensure social distancing and prevent over crowding issues.
  • Thermal imaging cameras are in place to measure the temperature at the entrances.
  • In the event of high temperatures or suspicions, the pilgrim will be prevented from entering and referred to the specialists at the Ministry of Health.
  • Carpets at Masjid Al Haram will be removed.
  • Stickers are marked on floors allowing 2 metres Social Distancing between pilgirms.
  • Food will be prevented from being allowed in the Mosque.
  • Educational lessons will continue to be suspended inside the Mosque.
  • Educational material however will be distributed.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting will take place around the clock.

Saudi Arabia had earlier announced its intention to hold the Hajj rite this year in accordance with “preventive and precautionary measures” in anticipation of the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. As they can perform their rituals easily and easily in a safe environment.

Earlier in March, the kingdom of Saudi Arabia health ministry said that will only allow people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend the Hajj this year.

The Saudi authorities have decided to further digitize the Hajj this time as part of the COVID defense measures. The project aims to minimize direct contact between the pilgrims and them on matters related to Hajj through the good use of technology.

Robots will be used with the help of artificial intelligence to give instructions to the pilgrims and recite the Qur’an. Pilgrims travel will also be controlled by computer. Authorities said the technology would help control the movement of each pilgrim, including a quick walk around the Ka’bah (Tawaf), a quick walk between Safa and Marwa, and a stop at Arafa.

Unlike last year, the Saudi government had earlier decided to organize the Hajj in a restricted manner, giving more opportunities to foreign pilgrims.

What is Hajj?

Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, a once-in-a-lifetime duty for every able-bodied Muslim who can afford it.

Millions of pilgrims come across the world. 2020 witnessed an exceptional season for Hajj, and in consideration of the “COVID-19” pandemic. The number of pilgrims at that time was limited to about 10 thousand from inside Saudi Arabia only, compared to about 2.5 million pilgrims in 2019 from all parts of the world.