The pilgrimage this year limited to Saudis and residents of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, for a total of 60,000 pilgrims, said a statement from the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah.
During the last Hajj, only tens of thousands of faithful residing in Saudi Arabia were able to perform this rite, against 2.5 million participants from around the world in 2019, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Those who want to perform the hajj must be between 18 and 65 years old, not suffer from a chronic disease and have been vaccinated,” the ministry said in a statement relayed by SPA.
In April, the kingdom had already announced that only vaccinated people would be allowed to perform Umrah, the small Muslim pilgrimage that can be carried out throughout the year, from the beginning of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, causing discontent.
Umrah, suspended in March 2020 due to the pandemic, had timidly resumed in early October with drastic precautionary measures in this Gulf country most affected by the epidemic.
At first, only 6,000 Saudis and foreign residents in Saudi Arabia were allowed to perform Umrah every day, before the number rose to 20,000.
Some 60,000 people are allowed to perform daily prayers in the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Islam’s first holy city.
It is not possible for pilgrims to touch the Kaaba, a cubic construction in the center of the Grand Mosque, which Muslims around the world turn to for prayer.