RIYADH, 3 March — Only people vaccinated against COVID-19 will be allowed to attend haj this year, said Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health.
Saudi newspaper Okaz reported that the Minister of Health Tawfiq Al Rabiah said “The COVID-19 vaccine is mandatory for those willing to come to the haj and will be one of the main conditions to receive a permit to come,” Okaz reported citing a circular signed by the health minister.
“You must prepare to secure the human resources required to operate health facilities in Mecca, the Holy Sites, and Al-Madinah and all haj entrances for 1442 haj season, and establish COVID-19 vaccine committee for participants in haj and Umrah. The vaccine is mandatory and the main requirement to participate.” The circular said.
In 2020, the kingdom dramatically reduced the number of pilgrims to around 1,000 to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19, after barring Muslims abroad from the rite for the first time in modern times.
Saudi Arabia has 378,002 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of yesterday (2 March), with 6,505 deaths and 368,926 recovered cases.