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Saudi Arabia lifts restriction on hajj pilgrim numbers

January 9, 2023 11:47 PM


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Saudi Arabia will not impose limits on the number of pilgrims for this year's hajj, a Saudi minister said Monday, after three years of restrictions to curb the Covid-19 pandemic.

"The number of pilgrims will return to what it was before the pandemic, without any age limit," Minister of Hajj and Umrah Tawfiq al-Rabiah told reporters in Riyadh.

The pilgrimage -- one of five pillars of Islam, and which all able-bodied Muslims with the means are required to perform at least once -- is scheduled for June.

In 2019, about 2.5 million people took part in the rituals. For the next two years numbers were drastically curtailed numbers due to the pandemic.

In 2022, nearly 900,000 pilgrims, including some 780,000 from abroad, were welcomed to Islam's holiest cities of Mecca and Medina.

At that time, they had to be aged under 65, as well as have a vaccination against Covid-19 and present a negative test.

 



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