Who can attend Hajj 2021? Saudi Arabia makes key announcement
JEDDAH – Saudi Arabia has announced that only people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 will be allowed to attend the Hajj this year, reported Saudi newspaper Okaz on Monday.
“The COVID-19 vaccine is mandatory for those willing to come to the Hajj and will be one of the main conditions (for receiving a permit to come),” the report said, citing a circular issued by the Kingdom’s health ministry.
The annual Hajj is used to attend by millions of Muslim from across the world but the congregation was dramatically reduced to 1000 last year (2020) after coronavirus pandemic engulfed the world, forcing countries to close their borders.
It was for the first time in the modern times that the Kingdom barred Muslims abroad from taking part in the sacred rite.
Hajj, a once-in-a-lifetime duty for every Muslim who can afford it, is a major source of income for the Saudi government.
In the same circular, Saudi Minister of Health Dr Tawfiq al-Rabiah said the government must be ready to “secure the manpower required to operate the health facilities in Mecca and Medina”.
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