ISTANBUL : Saudi Arabia raised the number of Hajj pilgrims from inside and outside the kingdom to 1 million in 2022, authorities announced Saturday after two years of restrictions because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah of Saudi Arabia released a statement that said Hajj is open to those under 65 years of age who have received approved COVID-19 vaccinations by the Saudi Ministry of Health.
Pilgrims from abroad will be required to submit a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours from the time of departure, it added, while urging visitors to comply with the health measures.
Saudi Arabia has limited the Hajj to domestic pilgrims for the past two years due to the pandemic. A total of 60,000 pilgrims performed Hajj last year compared to around 2.5 million in 2019.
The pilgrimage to Islam’s holiest site, the Kaaba in the city of Mecca, is one of the five pillars of Islam.
A Muslim is required to perform the Hajj at least once if they have the means.— AA