In a major move due to the novel Coronavirus outbreak across the globe, Saudi Arabia’s health ministry has announced that pilgrims who want to perform Hajj this year must receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
According to the details, Saudi Health Minister Tawfiq Al Rabiah has said that participation in the Hajj season will ensure that pilgrims must be vaccinated, as part of the main condition for the pilgrimage.
“The COVID-19 vaccine is mandatory for those willing to come to the Hajj and will be one of the main conditions (for receiving a permit to come),” a circular signed by the health minister read.
Previously in 2020, the Hajj Ministry of Saudi Arabia had announced the reduction of pilgrims to curb the spread of the novel Coronavirus. Two-thirds of those pilgrims were among foreign residents in Saudi Arabia and one-third were Saudi citizens.
Up to 1,000 people residing in the kingdom had participated in the Holy ritual after what many saw as an opaque selection process that left a wave of applicants rejected.
The foreigners were barred from this year’s Hajj, usually a huge global media event, as the government tightens access to the holy city of Mecca and puts in place strict health restrictions to prevent a virus outbreak during the five-day pilgrimage.
Saudi Arabia had recorded more than 260,000 cases of the novel coronavirus. While the total infections reached 16 million from around the globe.
According to authorities, Mask-clad pilgrims had begum trickling into Makkah over the weekend and were subject to temperature checks and placed in quarantine.
Furthermore, pilgrims were required to be tested for coronavirus before arriving in Makkah and will also have to quarantine after the pilgrimage.