Saudi Arabia will allow only a very limited number of people already residing inside the kingdom to perform the main Muslim Hajj pilgrimage that begins in late July.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and infection rates increase globally, the pilgrimage will take place this year with a very limited number of those who want to perform the Hajj from all nationalities residing in Saudi Arabia only.
According to a statement from the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah on Monday, The decision aims at ensuring preventive measures and social distancing protocols are observed to limit the spread of COVID-19 and in accordance with the teachings of Islam in preserving the lives of human beings.
It remains unclear how many people will be allowed to perform the Hajj. More than two million people perform the annual pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca every year, including many travelling from abroad.
It usually takes place over a period of five days, from the eighth to the 12th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the last month of the Islamic lunar calendar.