The Saudi Health Ministry announced that only Covid19 vaccinated pilgrims would be allowed to perform this year's hajj as the Kingdom prepares to open its doors for Hajj pilgrimage in July.
Saudi Arabia's Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah said receiving the vaccine is a must for pilgrims as well as health workers participating in the Hajj season of 2021, according to local media reports.
The Saudi media quoted the Al-Rabiah as saying, "The mandatary receiving of the Corona vaccine is one of the pre-requisites for those wishing to participate in the next Hajj season."
Saudi Arabia had limited the number of pilgrims in the country last year due to the pandemic, with two-thirds foreign residents and one-third of the Kingdom's selected security and medical staff.
It is yet to be announced if pilgrims from outside the Kingdom would be exempted from the pilgrimage. Hajj is a mandate religious act for physically well and financially sound Muslim-adults at least once in their lifetime. Before the pandemic, the number of attendees usually exceeds one or two million.
Amidst the covid surge and the spread of new variants, the authorities are in discussion to provide necessary medical services in the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah, from the pilgrims' arrival until their return, reports say.