Saudi Arabia Bans International Travellers For Hajj This Year
In the wake of the global pandemic, Saudi Arabia has announced that only those Muslims living in the country will be allowed to perform Hajj this year.
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah made the announcement in light of the coronavirus situation. It issued a statement on Monday saying, “As COVID-19 cases continue to grow globally while the risks of Coronavirus spread in crowded spaces and to countries still exist, Hajj 1441H is decided to take place this year with a limited number of pilgrims from all nationalities residing in Saudi Arabia only, who are willing to perform Hajj.”
The officials of the ministry said that the decision to hold the restricted pilgrimage was taken to ensure that the Hajj was safely performed “while committing to all preventive measures to protect Muslims and adhere strictly to the teachings of Islam in preserving our health and safety”.
Earlier, it was reported that the country was considering to cancel Hajj due to the increasing infections. According to Saudi Arabia’s health authorities, the kingdom has reported over 160,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 1,300 deaths to date.
It is pertinent to mention that in the past, the Kingdom had successfully organised Hajj during previous outbreaks of viral illnesses such as Ebola and MERS.