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Friday, June 14, 2024

Saudi Arabia sets new age limit for Hajj 2022

Saudi Arabia announced that it will welcome around 1 million Muslims from inside and outside the country to perform Hajj this year. Moreover, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah issued health guidelines to ensure the safety and security of Hajj pilgrims.

Saturday, Saudi Arabia announced that this year’s Hajj is only open to people under the age of 65, who received the main Covid-19 vaccinations. The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah made the announcement in a statement issued on Twitter.

Important to note, that as countries return to normal after facing the worst of Covid, Saudi Arabia announced that it will welcome around 1 million Muslims from inside and outside the country to perform Hajj this year. As a result, Saudi Arabia will allow a particular number of pilgrims from each specific country based on allocated quotas.

Read more: Hajj 2022: Pakistan to increase quota from 179,210 to 200,000 Hujjaj

Moreover, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah issued health guidelines to ensure the safety and security of Hajj pilgrims. Firstly, this year’s Hajj is open to only those who are “under 65-years-old and have received the main COVID-19 vaccinations approved by the Saudi Ministry of Health.”

Additionally, those coming from outside Saudi Arabia need to submit a negative Covid-19 PCR result from a test taken within 72 hours of travel.

“The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has instructed that all pilgrims must follow the health instructions and comply with all precautionary measures to preserve their health and safety while performing the Hajj rituals,” the statement further added.

Covid’s impact on Hajj

Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam. As a result, it is one of the world’s largest mass gatherings, constituting more than 2.5 million Muslim pilgrims from more than 180 countries.

However, with the outbreak of Covid in 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a public health emergency. Therefore, Saudi Arabia advised Muslims to postpone their pilgrimage until it mitigated the pandemic.

Read more: Is Pakistan prepared to send Hajj pilgrims?

On the other hand, people of all nationalities residing in Saudi Arabia were allowed to perform Hajj. Meanwhile, foreigners remained banned to prevent the transmission of Covid. Later in 2021, the Kingdom allowed foreigners to perform Hajj with very strict health measures.

By 2022, many countries successfully managed Covid and restrictions are easing. Therefore, Saudi Arabia is ready to welcome around 1 million pilgrims for Hajj.

Separately, for Hajj 2021, Saudi Arabia permitted women to register for Hajj without a male guardian. Similarly, in March, Saudi Arabia also allowed women above 45 years to perform Umrah without a male guardian.