Haj 2021: Pilgrims must be vaccinated against COVID-19

The government says it will consider vaccination as "the main condition for participation" in the pilgrimage

  
Muslim pilgrims circumambulate or 'tawaf' the Kaabah after Subuh prayer at Masjidil Haram MECCA, SAUDI ARABIA - 21ST NOV 2017; Muslim pilgrims circumambulate or 'tawaf' the Kaabah after Subuh prayer at Masjidil Haram, Makkah, Saudi Arabia.Image used for illustrative purpose.

Muslim pilgrims circumambulate or 'tawaf' the Kaabah after Subuh prayer at Masjidil Haram MECCA, SAUDI ARABIA - 21ST NOV 2017; Muslim pilgrims circumambulate or 'tawaf' the Kaabah after Subuh prayer at Masjidil Haram, Makkah, Saudi Arabia.Image used for illustrative purpose.

Getty Images/ shaifulzamri

The Saudi Ministry of Health has announced that the faithful who want to perform the annual Haj pilgrimage this year will need to prove that they’ve been vaccinated against Covid-19.

The government says it will consider coronavirus vaccination as “the main condition for participation” in the pilgrimage to the holy city of Makkah.

The statement did not specify whether the Haj, which traditionally draws some 2 million pilgrims from across the world, would again exclude pilgrims from outside the Kingdom to prevent the contagion.

Last year, Saudi officials permitted a very limited number of pilgrims already within the country to perform the Haj amid the surging pandemic.

The five-day pilgrimage starts this year at the end of July.

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