Faizel Patel – 22/06/2020
Saudi Arabia’s Hajj & Umrah Ministry has confirmed that Hajj 1441/2020 will be performed this year, but with a limited number of pilgrims from various nationalities who already reside in the kingdom.
In a statement, the ministry says the decision has been taken to ensure Hajj is performed in a safe manner from 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 life.
“In light of the continuation of the coronavirus pandemic and the risks of infections spreading in crowded spaces and large gatherings, it has been decided that Hajj 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.”
Last year, more than 1.8 million pilgrims from across the globe traveled to Saudi Arabia to perform hajj.
The Hajj ministry says this year the risk of transmitting COVID-19 between countries and the increase in infections globally meant the risk is too high.
It says 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 land until they depart to their home countries.
Earlier this month the South African Hajj and Umrah Council (SAHUC) announced that South African Hujjaj will not be able to perform hajj this year.
Sahuc says it met with the International Relations Department on Thursday to discuss the possibility of hajj under COVID-19 lockdown in South Africa including the rules of international travel under the current National Disaster Act.