No pilgrims from outside Saudi Arabia will be allowed to perform hajj this year, according to the Islamic country.

A similar situation occurred last year.

Saudi Arabia restricted this year’s annual pilgrimage to its citizens and residents, and set a maximum of 60,000 pilgrims in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Those wishing to perform the hajj must be free of chronic diseases and be vaccinated” and between the ages of 18 and 65, Saudi ministry of Hajj and Umrah said in a statement on Saturday.

“The Total Number of pilgrims this year is limited to ONLY 60,000 people, for residents of all nationalities and citizens inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

“The health status of those wishing to register for Hajj 1442 must be from the following categories: a vaccinated person, a vaccinated person who has completed one dose and spent 14 days, or a vaccinated person recovering from infection,” the statement read.

Before the advent of COVID-19, about 2.5 million pilgrims used to visit the holiest sites of Islam in Mecca and Medina for the week-long hajj and the lesser, year-round umrah pilgrimage.

Saudi Arabia had closed its borders for months to try and stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Since the start of the pandemic about 18 months ago, the kingdom has reported over 462,000 cases of the virus with 7,500 deaths.

It has administered some 15.4 million doses of coronavirus vaccines, according to the World Health Organisation.

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