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Saudi Arabia bans international pilgrims for Hajj over coronavirus

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IN a bid to control coronavirus pandemic and ensure safety of pilgrims, Saudi Arabian Government has banned Hajj pilgrimage this year for international visitors

  Based on this, only nationals who already reside in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to attend Hajj

  This was disclosed in a statement issued by the Ministry of Hajj And Umrah, shared on the official Twitter page of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Monday’.

  It stated that the decision to cancel international pilgrimage this year is due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring the safety of pilgrims.

  According to the ministry, its top priority is to always enable pilgrims to perform Hajj and Umrah safely and securely.

  Sources quoted in the report said authorities were considering allowing “only symbolic numbers” this year, with restrictions including a ban on older pilgrims and additional health checks.

  It was further gathered that Saudi authorities think it may be possible to allow in up to 20% of each country’s regular quota of pilgrims

  Hajj is a once-in-a-lifetime duty for every able-bodied Muslim who can afford it. The hajj and the lesser, year-round umrah pilgrimage earn the kingdom about $12 billion a year.  

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