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Hajj 2021: Saudi Arabia says it may allow foreign pilgrims

The ministry said if a decision is taken to allow foreign pilgrim for the annual ritual then it will be on a smaller scale

Monday May 10, 2021 11:26 AM, ummid.com with inputs from Agencies

Hajj 2021 News

Makkah: Making an important announcement regarding the status of Hajj 2021, Saudi Ministry of Haj and Umrah Monday said the Kingdom is considering to allow overseas pilgrims for the annual pilgrimage.

The ministry said if a decision is taken to allow foreign pilgrim for the annual ritual then it will be on a smaller scale.

Every year more than 2.5 million Muslims from all over the world perform Hajj – the annual pilgrimage to Makkah to commemorate the sacrifices of Prophet Ibrahim, his wife Hager and their noble son Prophet Ismael (may peace be upon all of them).

Last year however only 1000 Muslims of all ethnicities who are residing in the Kingdom were allowed to perform Haj because of the travel restrictions imposed to contain the spread of Covid-19.

It was expected that things will come to its normal state this year and pilgrims will be allowed to perform Hajj at their usual number.

However the second wave of the pandemic took in its grip most part of the world forcing Saudi Arabia and other countries to impose restrictions and ban international flights.

As part of the announcement made earlier Saudi Arabia will lift the ban on international flights on May 17. Simultaneously, it will also release the plan to allow overseas pilgrims for Hajj.

“Discussions are underway for visitors from overseas to perform the Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia this year for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began”, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said.

“Allowing a small number of pilgrims into the Kingdom under strict health and precautionary measures is an option under discussion”, it added.

The decision is “based on the Kingdom’s constant keenness to enable the guests and visitors at the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque to perform the rituals of Hajj and Umrah,” the ministry said.

Saudi Arabia had earlier announced that only those pilgrims from within and outside the Kindgom who have been vaccinated will be allowed to perform Hajj.

The ministry however did not elaborate on the status of the pilgrims from India, Pakistan and 18 other nations that will continue to be in the list of barred countries even if the Saudi ban on international flights is lifted on May 17.

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