Full Covid-19 Vaccination Still Required For Hajj, Says Saudi Arabia
Saudi arabia-The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, a government ministry in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, said that full immunisation with one of the approved Covid-19 vaccines is still required for those planning to perform Hajj in 2022.
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah assures the safe arrival and departure of pilgrims and visitors arriving in Saudi Arabia for Hajj or Umrah. The ministry said that people intending to perform Hajj this year must have completed their immunisation program with one of the Covid-19 vaccines approved by the Public Health Authority.
The confirmation comes less than 24 hours after the Saudi Arabia authorities announced the lifting of various Covid-19 protocols, including the requirement to wear face masks in closed places. However, masks will still be required at Islam’s holiest sites in Mecca and Medina.
Requirement for performing Hajj
The vaccine requirement is listed on the electronic registration portal for this year’s Hajj. Reportedly, around 850,000 pilgrims from abroad will participate in this year’s Hajj pilgrimage. One of the five pillars of Islam requires every Muslim to perform the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime.
Who will be denied a Hajj permit to Saudi Arabia?
Upon opening the electronic registration portal for this year’s Hajj, the ministry said that priority would be given to those who have not previously performed the rituals. The ministry further said that those who are not fully immunised, as per their status on the Tawakkalna application, would be denied a Hajj permit to the kingdom.
However, proof of vaccination on the Tawakkalna app is no longer required to enter events, activities, aeroplanes and public transport. Organisers of events and festivals can continue to wear masks if they wish.
Every year, many Muslims from around the world travel to perform the Hajj. However, the Covid-19 pandemic hugely disrupted Muslim pilgrimages. For nearly two years, the kingdom was among the world’s most restrictive in its efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19.