by BLOOMBERG / Pic by BERNAMA
Saudi Arabia may bar overseas pilgrims from the annual hajj for the second year to contain the spread of coronavirus, Reuters reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
The pilgrimage would be restricted to vaccinated nationals and residents, as well as those who have recovered from the virus at least six months prior to attending, according to Reuters. Authorities have yet to take a final decision, the news agency said.
Initial plans to allow some vaccinated pilgrims from abroad were suspended given confusion over types of vaccines, their efficacy and the emergence of variants, Reuters reported. It said the government’s media office didn’t respond to a request for comment.
The Hajj is obligatory for all able-bodied adult Muslims once in their lifetime if they can afford it. Last year, Saudi Arabia restricted the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca to a “very limited” number of Muslims.