The Ministry of Health of Saudi Arabia said on Tuesday that the country would only allow people who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 to attend the Hajj pilgrimage this year.
Saudi Health Minister Tawfiq al-Rabiah said that “compulsory vaccination” will be expected for all pilgrims preparing to attend a five-day event in July.
Rabiah has not specified the number of pilgrims that the Kingdom will receive this year and whether the number of pilgrims will be limited internally, such as in 2020, or whether there will be broader participation.
In an official circular, he said, “You must prepare early to secure the manpower required to operate the health facilities in Makkah, the holy sites and Madinah and the entry points for pilgrims for the 2021 Hajj season,”
“A vaccination committee must be formed for the Hajj and Umrah season, on which they have adopted the compulsory reception of the COVID-19 vaccine for participating healthcare workers,” he stated.
Hajj is one of Islam’s five foundations. Muslims who are physically and financially capable of doing it is supposed to do so at least once in their lives.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, pilgrims from outside the Kingdom were barred from performing Hajj last year.