HAJJ 1442 AH / 2021 UPDATE
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, this will be the first time Saudi Arabia has decided to allow only 60,000 people from all over the world, to perform Hajj this year, the Saudi health ministry said on Saturday (22/05/2021).
Saudi health ministry stated that they are allowing overseas Hajj pilgrims for the annual event in July but it will be on a smaller scale compared to the pre-pandemic time. 45,000 pilgrims from outside the country will be allocated and 15,000 from inside the Kingdom, the health ministry said.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has lifted the ban on an international flight from May 17, 2021, as the Hajj is scheduled to take place from 17th July to 22nd July 2021.
Key points for the Hajj 2021 :
- Only 60,000 Hujjaj will be scheduled to perform Hajj this year which includes local and foreign pilgrims.
- Those performing Hajj must be between the age of 18-60 years of Age.
- Those performing Hajj must be in a good state of health.
- Those performing Hajj must not have been in hospital for any illness within the past six months prior to travel for Hajj. (proof Is required)
- The pilgrims must have had both doses of the vaccine with a vaccination card provided by the individual countries Health Organisation / Hospital / Ministry. (proof required)
- The vaccine taken must be on the approved list that is recognized by the ministry of health within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
- The pilgrims must quarantine for three days if they are classed as foreign pilgrims as soon as they arrive in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
- The first dose of the vaccine must have been taken by the 1st Shawaal 1442. Note: This day has passed and was the day of the Eid Ul Fitr 1442.
- The second dose of the vaccine must be taken by the 14th day before arriving within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
- The conditions of social distancing and the wearing of the mask and other precautionary measures will continue to protect pilgrims.
Before a pilgrim arrives in the Hajj areas/locations:
- They must ensure that all the necessary health documents that are required are completed to verify their health status and conditions.
- The pilgrim must hold a certificate/document in relation to the vaccine. In some countries, travel certificates are being issued.
- The pilgrims will also go through visual screening as per the procedures and precautionary measures in relation to COVID-19.
- Information will continue to be provided via social media, tour agencies and through SMS messages, etc for educational purposes.
- Designated transportation points are being arranged to where groups will gather keeping in line with the precautionary measures.
When a pilgrim arrives at their residence:
- The pilgrims will undergo thermal screening.
- The accommodation and hotels pilgrims will stay at must comply with the ministry of tourism, the Ministry of Hajj, and other bodies.
- There will be an implementation of precautionary measures to prevent crowding inside the rooms and hotels.
- They will therefore provide catering services for every pilgrim in their room without the need to gather in dining halls and prevent open buffets.
- All international pilgrims must quarantine for three days and will also conduct PCR Swabs at the place of residence.
- Pilgrims will be educated that if they have symptoms, they are to go consult a doctor directly, in order to ensure their own safety and the safety of others.
- The Hajj pilgrims will be dispatched in fewer batches compared to previous years in order to comply with social distancing. There will be meeting points for groups in all areas in fewer numbers compared to previous years.
- All baggage for pilgrims must be disinfected & workers will be given the role to ensure this.
- Security personnel has been assigned to organize the entry & exit of pilgrims according to the time allotted to them.
- The protocol accommodation facilities must have adhered to.
- Ensure spatial distancing in addition to the creation of tents and screening points in the pedestrian path, the Jamarat area, and the train stations.
Overnight in Mina:
- Residents' bags should be disinfected, the luggage trolley should be periodically disinfected, and a worker should be assigned to handle this.
- Security guards are assigned to organize the exit of pilgrims according to the time allotted to them.
- The tourist accommodation facilities protocol must have adhered
Moving to Arafah:
- A bus will be specified for each group and a seat number will be assigned to each pilgrim during the entire trip, with follow-up on the implementation of precautionary measures when getting on and off the buses.
- Pilgrims will not be allowed to stand during the journey.
- Families will be allowed to sit together.
- If a pilgrim has COVID-19 the bus will be disinfected and other procedures will follow.
- The number of passengers will not exceed 50% of the total capacity.
- On the bus, there will be an empty seat between each passenger.
- Passengers must carry their luggage.
- Food should only be pre-packaged.
- Preventing gatherings and maintain social distancing.
- The number of pilgrims will not exceed 50 per 50 square meters of the area of the tents.
The day of Arafah and overnight in Muzdalifa:
- Commit to residing in the designated places and not deviating from the path specified by the organizer.
- Emphasize the obligation to wear masks
- Food should only be pre-packaged.
- Preventing gatherings and maintaining social distancing
- The number of pilgrims must not exceed 50 per 50 square meters of the area of the tents
Residency in Mina and the stoning of the Jamarat:
- Pilgrims will be provided with stones in sterilized bags packed by the organizer.
- The pilgrim’s departure to and from the Jamarat facility must be scheduled so that the number does not exceed 50 pilgrims for each floor of the Jamarat facility.
Procedures for the Holy Sites, the Two Holy Mosques, and the central region of Makkah and Madinah:
- Pilgrims must have a permit to perform the Hajj from the electronic Hajj portal or via an electronic application.
- Pilgrims must ensure social distancing and prevent overcrowding issues.
- Thermal imaging cameras are in place to measure the temperature at the entrances.
- In the event of high temperatures or suspicions, the pilgrim will be prevented from entering and referred to the specialists at the Ministry of Health.
- Carpets at Masjid Al Haram will be removed.
- Stickers are marked on floors allowing 2 meters of Social Distancing between pilgrims.
- Food will be prevented from being allowed in the Mosque.
- Educational lessons will continue to be suspended inside the Mosque.
- Educational material however will be distributed.
- Cleaning and disinfecting will take place around the clock.