The Saudi Arabian government has announced its decision to limit the upcoming Haj season to domestic pilgrims only with a maximum of 60,000 individuals in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In its announcement on Saturday, the Ministry of Haj and Umrah said it decided to limit the availability of registration for those wishing to perform the annual pilgrimage this year to citizens and residents inside the country only, due to the global Covid outbreaks and the new virus mutations, reports xinhua news agency.

This year, vaccinated and recovered citizens and residents of the age group 18-65 who do not have chronic diseases will be allowed to register to perform Haj.

The upcoming Haj will be the second season with no overseas pilgrims due to concerns of the pandemic.

The Ministry stressed that the decision was taken for the safety and health of pilgrims, supported by the other Islamic states.

Last year, 1,000 pilgrims of 160 nationalities living in Saudi Arabia performed the rituals, along with medics and security personnel.

In the last 10 years, the Kingdom has welcomed more than 150 million pilgrims.

–IANS

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