The government of Saudi Arabia on Monday announced that Hajj 1441 will take place on July 29 with only 1,000 pilgrims as the country suffered a huge loss due to Coronavirus pandemic.
Some 2.5 million people from all over the world usually participate in the ritual of Hajj  that takes place over several days in the holy city of Makkah.
This year’s Hajj will be held under strict hygiene protocols, with access limited to pilgrims under 65 years old and without any chronic illnesses.
“The stand of pilgrims on Mount Arafat, the peak of the Hajj ritual, falls on Thursday,” the official Saudi Press Agency cited the Supreme Court as saying. It indicated that Wednesday would be the first day of the annual event.
The timing of the Hajj is determined by the position of the moon, in accordance with the Islamic lunar calendar.
Earlier, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah had opened registration for Hajj 2020 (1441 Hijri) through its website from July 6 to 10.
The ministry had allowed a total of 10,000 pilgrims for Hajj 1441, 70% foreign nationals who reside in the kingdom, while 30% are Saudi Arabia citizens.
According to the details, the kingdom had decided to reduce the number of Hajj pilgrims this year to only 10,000 residents to combat the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
However, Saudi Arabia reported 253,349 cases so far including 2,523 deaths — the highest toll among the Arab Gulf states.
Although Hajj officials said the pilgrimage would be restricted to 1,000 people already present in the kingdom, 70% of them foreigners and the rest Saudis. According to reports, 10,000 people may take part.