Saudi Arabia has barred travellers from Nigeria and other countries from performing 2021 Hajj over coronavirus concerns.
Saudi Arabia announced this on Saturday, the country will only allow 60,000 vaccinated residents of the kingdom to perform the annual hajj.
The Kingdom’s Health Minister Tawfiq al-Rabiah said “the decision (was made) to guarantee the safety of Hajj pilgrims amid uncertainty over the coronavirus.
The Hajj Ministry says this year’s pilgrimage would be “open for nationals and residents of the kingdom, limited to 60,000 pilgrims”,
The pilgrimage, scheduled to be held at the end of July, would be limited to those who have been vaccinated and are below 65 years of age with no chronic illnesses, it said.
It will be the second year in a row that the kingdom hosts a downscaled Hajj Pilgrimage amid the coronavirus pandemic.
A Hajj pilgrim must for able-bodied Muslims who can afford it at least once in their lifetime. The Hajj rites typically sees millions of pilgrims visit religious sites and could be a major source of contagion.
Only up to 10,000 Muslims took part last year, a far cry from the 2.5 million who participated in the five-day annual pilgrimage in 2019.