The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has announced that only people residing in the Kingdom will observe this year’s Hajji Pilgrimage.
Saudi Arabia made the declaration in a statement by the Ministry of Health on Monday. It said the decision was due to the Coronavirus pandemic that has ravaged the world.
The statement read;
In light that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has spread to more than 180 countries around the world, and that deaths related to COVID-19 have reached almost half a million and over 7 million cases have been confirmed globally, and in accordance with what has been stressed by the Saudi Ministry of Health regarding the continued risks stemming from this pandemic and the lack of available vaccinations and a cure for those who have been infected by COVID-19 around the world, and to preserve the security of global public health especially in light of the increase in the number of cases in most countries according to reports issued by global health organizations and institutions, and considering the risks of the disease and infections spreading in crowded gatherings where it is difficult to maintain safe social distancing among the individuals gathered the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, whose top priority is to always enable Muslim pilgrims to perform Haj and Umrah rites safety and securely and which has been keen since the beginning of the pandemic to take all necessary precautionary measures to protect pilgrims, including by Suspending the entry of Umrah pilgrims while ensuring the safety of the pilgrims already present at the holy sites, a decision that has received many approbations from Islamic and international organizations in recognition of its wide contribution to fighting the virus globally and supporting the efforts of health organizations in limiting the spread of the deadly disease and in light of continuation of the pandemic and the risks of Coronavirus spreading in crowded spaces and large gatherings and its transmission between countries, and the increase in average infections globally.
It has been decided that Haji for this year (1441 H/ 2020 AD) will be held whereby a very limited number of pilgrims from various nationalities who already reside in Saudi Arabia, would be able to perform it.
This decision is taken to ensure Hajj is performed in a safe manner fram a public health perspective while observing all preventative measures and the necessary social distancing protocols to protect human beings from the risks associated with this pandemic and in accordance with the teachings of Islam in preserving the lives of human beings
The government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques is honored to serve millions of Hajj and Umrah pilgrims annually and it confirms that this decision stems from the top priority it accords maintaining the safety of pilgrims on its tand until they depart to their home countries
We ask Allah the Almighty to protect all countries from this pandemic and keep all humans protected and safe.