According to state media, Saudi Arabia will allow up to 1 million pilgrims to attend this year’s Hajj pilgrimage after two years of strict COVID restrictions.
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah announced a requirement for pilgrims to Mecca this year. The SPA news agency reported that those pilgrims must be younger than 65 and fully vaccinated against Coronavirus.
In addition, foreign participants will be allowed to participate in the event as long as they present the results of a recent COVID PCR test. The event will adhere to health precautions, it said.
The king last year reduced the number of domestic participants in the annual Haj, one of Islam’s five main pillars, from 2.5 million to 60,000. This is compared to 2.5 million before the pandemic.
As per official data, pilgrimages to the holiest sites of Islam in Mecca and Medina for the week-long Hajj and the less significant, year-round Umrah pilgrimage attracted an estimated $12 billion in revenue each year to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.