Saudi ArabiaHealth

Saudi: Largest Hajj pilgrimage since COVID-19 pandemic kicks off

The largest annual Hajj pilgrimage since the coronavirus pandemic kicked off in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, marking a significant step toward normalcy after COVID-19 restricted access to the ritual.

One of the five pillars of Islam, the Hajj must be undertaken by all Muslims at least once in their lives if they have the means.

Hajj is considered the world’s largest religious gathering, with about 2.5 million people performing the ritual in 2019.

However, due to COVID-19, the Kingdom had sharply decreased the number of pilgrims allowed to perform the ritual.

This year, the Kingdom has allowed one million pilgrims from inside and outside the country to participate.

Those performing the ritual this year must be under 65, vaccinated against the coronavirus and have tested negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of travel.

The pilgrims have been chosen from millions of applicants through an online lottery system.



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