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Saudi authorities said Monday that only people vaccinated or immunized against Covid-19 will be able to make the small pilgrimage to Mecca during Ramadan.
Only people vaccinated or immunized against Covid-19 will be allowed to perform umrah, the small pilgrimage to Mecca, during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan which begins in mid-April, Saudi authorities announced Monday (April 5th).
The Hajj ministry said in a statement that “only people immune” to the coronavirus would be allowed to perform umrah or prayers in the Grand Mosque of Mecca from the start of Ramadan.
This measure applies in particular to people who have received the two necessary doses of vaccine and to those who have received a single dose for at least fourteen days.
Ramadan usually brings a large influx of worshipers to Mecca from Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries.
Limited number of pilgrims
The small pilgrimage, suspended in March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, timidly resumed in early October with precautionary measures.
Initially, only 6,000 Saudis and foreign residents in Saudi Arabia were allowed each day for umrah, which can be undertaken throughout the year unlike the hajj, the great pilgrimage, which takes place once a year. .
The number then rose to 15,000 per day for umrah while 40,000 worshipers were admitted to the Grand Mosque for daily prayers.
Worshipers from overseas were allowed from November 1, but the health ministry selects countries based on the progress of the pandemic.
More than 390,000 cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in the country, including more than 6,700 deaths, and more than 5 million people have received at least one dose of vaccine in a population of 34 million inhabitants.