Saudi Arabia is ready for the Hajj 2021 season with strict health and safety measures to contain the spread of infection during the annual Islamic pilgrimage.
The Hajj season will see fewer pilgrims for the second year compared to 2019 which had recorded 2.5 million pilgrims.
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has announced the rules and regulations for Hajj 2021 season last Saturday. The main headline of the announcement was to limit Hajj to the Kingdom’s residents due to the second wave of Covid-19 that has attacked several countries. The pandemic has limited the number of pilgrims to 10,000 last year as well.
Whereas, Hajj 2021 season will accommodate 60,000 pilgrims applying all the safety measures and social distancing throughout all the ritual’s steps. Hajj this year is likely to begin on July 17th. The final date will be decided after the sighting of the new moon.
Generally, Hajj 2021 will be only opened to Saudi citizens who have been fully vaccinated, aged 18 to 65. Furthermore, they should not be suffering from any chronic illness.
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah announcement stated “In light of what the whole world is witnessing with the coronavirus pandemic… and the emergence of new variants, the relevant authorities have continued to monitor the global health situation. Considering the large crowds that perform Hajj, spending long periods of time in multiple and specific places… required the highest levels of health precautions.”
On the other hand, Saudi Arabia had relaxed its restrictions on the year-round Umrah and had opened the Grand Mosque last October. Currently, 20000 pilgrims can go for Umrah daily, while 60000 worshippers are permitted to enter the Grand Mosque for daily prayers. The Umrah will only return to its former self after the pandemic dies down.
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has revealed the requirements and procedure of registration for Hajj 2021.
The registration will only be through the electronic portal for domestic pilgrims. Women can register for the pilgrimage without a male guardian (mahram) along with other women. Those wishing to perform Hajj will have to register individually.
The Ministry also announced the Hajj 2021 packages. There are 3 available packages. The first package (Hospitality Package Camps) costs SR12,113; the second package (Distinguished Hospitality Camps) is priced at SR14,381 and the third package (Distinguished Hospitality Towers) costs SR16,560. Registration for Hajj 2021 will be available for citizens and residents inside Saudi Arabia who did not perform Hajj in the last five years.
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has warned citizens and residents from dealing with bogus Hajj companies that are not listed in the electronic path for domestic pilgrims, which can be visited through the following link: https://localhaj.haj.gov.sa
The Ministry stated that the smart card and documented official permit are a must for Hajj performance this year. The smart card will be matched with the pilgrim’s ID card and his permit.
Meanwhile, the Ministry asked all pilgrims to stick to all instructions to ensure a safe trip. All pilgrims will be subjected to thermal and visual screening at all Hajj stops and locations.
Check Out Prophet Muhammad Farewell Hajj for inspiration.