JEDDAH: The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said that full immunization with one of the approved COVID19- vaccines is still required for those planning to perform Hajj this year.
The confirmation comes less than 24 hours after the Saudi authorities announced the lifting of various COVID-19 preventative measures, including the requirement to wear face masks in closed places.
The ministry reaffirmed that all those intending to perform Hajj this year must have completed their immunization program with one of the COVID-19 vaccines approved by the Public Health Authority.
This vaccine requirement is listed on the electronic registration portal for this year’s Hajj, which will accommodate 1 million pilgrims.
Regarding the recent decision related to the lifting of COVID-19 precautionary and preventive measures, the authority said that people will no longer be required to wear a face mask indoors, with the exception of Makkah’s Grand Mosque and Madinah’s Prophet’s Mosque, in addition to health facilities, large public events, airplanes and public transport providers that wish to uphold the measures.
Proof of vaccination on the Tawakkalna app is no longer required to enter establishments, events, activities, airplanes and public transport.
However, administrators of any activity, event, or public transport provider wishing to apply higher levels of protection can be exempted from the decision.
In a press conference held on June 1 in the Jordanian capital Amman, Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, minister of Hajj and Umrah, said that it is known that there are many requirements to perform Hajj for this year, but “the safety of pilgrims and their safe return to their countries remain our priorities.”
Upon opening registration for this year’s Hajj, the ministry stressed that priority would be given to those who have not previously performed the rituals. The ministry added that those who are not fully immunized, as per their status on the Tawakkalna application, would be denied a Hajj permit.