Hajj Season Restricted to Vaccinated Residents of Saudi Arabia
This year's Hajj season is limited to residents of Saudi Arabia between the ages of 18 and 65 and with no chronic diseases.
Pilgrims began arriving in Mecca today, Saturday, in preparation for the Hajj rituals, which are limited this year to residents of Saudi Arabia vaccinated against Covid-19, amid exceptional circumstances in terms of the organization and the number of pilgrims for the second year in a row due to the massive outbreak of the pandemic.
About 60,000 residents will participate in the rituals, compared to 2.5 million Muslims who took part in the Hajj in 2019. The pilgrims were selected from among 558,000 applicants according to an electronic verification system, while millions of Muslims in the world wishing to perform the Hajj feel disappointed due to the situation.
#موسم_الحج pic.twitter.com/AUFBRDPtsi— طلال بن صالح الثقفي (@Abosaleh261429) July 17, 2021
The rituals begin tomorrow, Sunday, and continue over five days.
The pilgrims perform Tawaf (circumambulation) around the Kaaba at the beginning of the rituals, then they perform the Sa’i (walking briskly back and forth) seven times between [the hills of] Safa and Marwa, before heading to (the Valley of) Mina on the day of Tarwiyah (lit. quenching the thirst), and from there to Arafat on Monday, ten kilometers away, to perform the most important of the Hajj rituals, which is followed by Eid al-Adha.
The Saudi authorities deployed several security checkpoints on the main roads leading to Mecca, according to an "AFP" journalist at the scene, while logistical and health preparations are still ongoing inside the pilgrims' camps in Mina.
The Hajj this year is restricted to residents between the ages of 18 and 65 years, who do not have chronic diseases.
The Hajj season coincides with a rise in the number of Covid-19 infections around the world, especially due to the spread of variants of the virus and despite the ongoing vaccination campaigns for months.