Saudi Arabian authorities announced this Saturday that they will limit the pilgrimage to Mecca to citizens and residents of the country for the second year in a row due to the coronavirus pandemic, while stressing that only 60,000 can attend.
The Saudi Pilgrimage Ministry has advised that participants must not have any chronic illnesses, be between 18 and 65 years old, and be vaccinated against COVID-19 according to the standards set by the health authorities of the Asian country.
He stressed that the decision “was made in accordance with the constant intention of the kingdom to allow guests and visitors to the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque to perform the rituals of ‘Haj’ and ‘Umrah'”. as reported by the Saudi daily “Arab News”.
The pilgrimage to Mecca, one of the five pillars of Islam, will begin in mid-July, although participation is limited for the second year in a row due to the pandemic that has so far caused more than 463,000 cases and 7,500 deaths in the country.
The Saudi Ministry of Health said in its latest tally on Friday that 1,175 cases and 18 deaths were reported in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 463,703 and 7,537 respectively, with 446,054 people recovering from COVID-19.