Pilgrims selected for this year’s hajj have started their seven-day home isolation, Saudi state news agency SPA reported on Monday (July 20).
Saudi authorities on June 22 announced that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the hajj this year will go on with a limited number of pilgrims from various nationalities who already reside in Saudi Arabia.
On July 6 authorities announced health and safety protocols for this year’s hajj, including that pilgrims must wear cloth masks during congregational prayers, and distance must be kept between worshippers.
Pilgrims will have to confine themselves to their homes again after they complete the hajj.
Some 1,000 pilgrims will perform the hajj this year. The selected pilgrims meet health and safety conditions, and will be tested for COVID-19 before they start on the pilgrimage as well.
This year’s pilgrim ratio will comprise 70% non-Saudi residents, with Saudis making up the remaining 30%. The non-Saudi residents applied online for their places while the Saudi contingent is made up of healthcare workers and security personnel who have fully recovered from COVID-19.
Last year, 2,489,406 pilgrims performed the hajj, around 75% of whom came from abroad.
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