Women can register for Hajj without male guardian

Saudi ministry approves three packages’ prices range between $3,230 and $4,426

  
Muslim pilgrims cast stones at pillars symbolizing Satan during the annual Haj pilgrimage amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Mina, near the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia July 31, 2020. Saudi Press Agency/Handout via REUTERS

Muslim pilgrims cast stones at pillars symbolizing Satan during the annual Haj pilgrimage amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Mina, near the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia July 31, 2020. Saudi Press Agency/Handout via REUTERS

 
JEDDAH: Three packages have been approved for this year’s pilgrimage, with a government ministry saying that people could register online for Hajj including women without a mahram (male guardian).

Registration for this year’s Hajj opened at 1 p.m on Sunday after the government said it would limit this year’s cohort to citizens and residents of the Kingdom.

Registration is available until 10 p.m. on June 23. There is no priority for early applicants.

Costs for the three approved packages are SR16,560.50 ($4,426), SR14,381.95, and SR12,113.95. VAT will be added to the price of each package.

According to the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah’s website, people will be bussed to the holy sites and there will be a maximum of 20 pilgrims per vehicle.

They will be supplied with three daily meals in Mina and two meals (breakfast and lunch) in Arafat. They will be given dinner in Muzdalifah. Other food and beverage services will be available, but pilgrims are not allowed to bring food with them from outside Makkah.

Applications will go through five stages. These include a prospective pilgrim reviewing and acknowledging health information and providing personal details based on their official papers. After that, the system will verify the applicant’s eligibility for Hajj based on the data provided by the National Information Center.

Once an application is accepted, the applicant will be given a registration number for further inquiries. After ensuring an applicant’s COVID-19 status — fully immune, immune by the first dose, or immune after recovery — a text message with the payment details will be sent out.

HIGHLIGHT

Costs for the three approved packages are SR16,560.50 ($4,426), SR14,381.95, and SR12,113.95. VAT will be added to the price of each package.

The ministry said that registering for Hajj did not mean a final Hajj permit had been granted.

“A Hajj permit will only be issued after an application is found to meet all the mandatory health conditions and regulations,” it added. “The ministry has the right to reject a request at any time, in case it was found to be violating the organizing regulations.”

Before a Hajj permit request can be sent, all applicants must acknowledge that they have not performed Hajj in the last five years, they are not suffering from any chronic disease, and are not infected with COVID-19.

People must also acknowledge that they have not been admitted to a hospital due to chronic diseases or for dialysis treatment in the past six months.

On Saturday it was announced that 60,000 pilgrims would be allowed to perform this year’s Hajj, which begins mid-July.

Authorities also said that those wishing to perform Hajj must be free of any chronic diseases and be aged between 18 and 65.

The decision was “based on the Kingdom’s constant keenness to enable the guests and visitors at the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque to perform the rituals of Hajj and Umrah,” the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said. “The Kingdom puts human health and safety first.”

The “sorting” phase of the Hajj application process starts on June 25, according to an official ministry tweet, which also said that applicants should pay for their package within three hours of selecting it to avoid cancelation. Priority will be for registered applicants who have never performed Hajj, it added.

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