Saudi Arabia issues coronavirus guidelines for pilgrimage

Saudi Arabia issues coronavirus guidelines for pilgrimage

The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has announced that 70% of this year’s pilgrims for the Hajj - which will take place from July 28 to August 2 - will be expatriate residents while the remaining 30% are Saudis, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said.

The 30% of Saudi pilgrims will be limited only to Saudi health practitioners and security men who recovered from COVID-19. They will be selected from a database of recovered security men, in recognition of their dedication and important role in protecting all community segments during the battle against the virus.

Authorities issued a slew of mandatory guidelines and health protocols that pilgrims need to follow during the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca. Pilgrims will not be allowed to touch or kiss the Black Stone in the Kaaba where barriers will be placed to prevent them from getting closer to it, Gulf News reported.

The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has set a number of health conditions that a pilgrim should meet before applying: applicants should do not suffer from any chronic diseases, applicants should provide a negative PCR test proving that they are free of coronavirus, applicants should not have previously performed Hajj, applicants should be between 20 and 50 years.

The registration period will last for five days starting from July 6 until July 10.