On Saturday, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah of Saudi Arabia announced the age limit under 65 years for pilgrims who will perform Hajj this year. Applicants who turn 65 years old before 30 April are excluded by the Ministry.
Restrictions on Hajj for those under 65 years of age will certainly have a wide impact. The decision will affect prospective pilgrims who are over 65 years of age, but it will also affect co-pilgrims who apply together with the elderly and women who apply for Hajj with their parents as their Mahram. However, it is said that applicants who are affected by the age restriction but meet the requirements can re-apply online before April 22.
Besides setting the age limit, the Ministry also stipulates that Hajj pilgrims must complete all the vaccinations dosed against COVID-19 with the vaccines approved by the Saudi Ministry of Health. In addition, pilgrims traveling from abroad must also undergo a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before their departure to Saudi Arabia.
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah of Saudi Arabia also stressed that pilgrims must adhere to precautionary measures and follow precautionary instructions during worship.
Previously, the government of Saudi Arabia had announced an increase in the quota of pilgrims from inside and outside Saudi Arabia to 1 million people. This number is more than the 2021 Hajj, which is less than 60 thousand pilgrims and only 1000 pilgrims were to perform Hajj in 2020.
As reported by Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the decision was taken after considering various things, including the safety of the pilgrims to the government’s request to maintain the continuity of the Hajj pilgrimage even during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said that the quotas for each country would be announced soon.