Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia bars pilgrims from abroad for Hajj; limits numbers
Saudi Arabia will strictly limit the number of people who can take part in this year’s Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca because of the coronavirus
Mecca: Saudi Arabia said on Monday (June 22) that this year’s Hajj will not be cancelled, but that due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), only “very limited numbers” of people will be allowed to perform the major Muslim pilgrimage.
The kingdom said that only people of various nationalities already residing in the country would be allowed to perform the Hajj.
The government did not specify how many people would be permitted to take part. The annual pilgrimage, which is set to begin this year at the end of July, traditionally draws around two million Muslims from around the world for five intense days of worship and rituals in Mecca.
Saudi Arabia has never canceled the Hajj in the nearly 90 years since the nation's establishment. It halted the minor umrah pilgrimage, which can be performed year-round, in February, as the coronavirus began spreading across the region.