Saudi Arabia News

Saudi Arabia Removes Mandatory Covid-19 Vaccination Proof for Hajj 2024

In a recent update, the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony in Pakistan revealed that individuals performing Hajj in 2024 would no longer be required to show proof of Covid-19 vaccination. The Saudi authorities made this decision, eliminating a major condition for pilgrims participating in the sacred journey.

The move follows Saudi Arabia’s decision in June of the previous year to ease restrictions on the Hajj pilgrimage, allowing for maximum capacity attendance. This decision marked a significant shift from previous years when stringent measures were in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2022, around 900,000 pilgrims were able to perform Hajj after limited numbers were allowed, restoring a sense of normalcy to the annual pilgrimage.

The Ministry of Religious Affairs initiated the registration process for Hajj 2024 on November 27, and the application window will remain open until December 12. Applicants can submit their applications using passports valid until December 16, 2024, and the processing can also be completed using a passport application token.

As per the ministry’s spokesperson, approximately 89,605 Pakistanis are expected to perform Hajj under the government scheme in 2024. In the event that the number of applications exceeds the prescribed limit, a balloting process will be conducted.

A notable change for the upcoming Hajj is the opportunity for women to undertake the sacred journey without the traditional requirement of a male companion. This marks a significant step towards inclusivity and equal participation in the pilgrimage experience.

The removal of the Covid-19 vaccination proof requirement for Hajj 2024 reflects ongoing efforts to adapt pilgrimage conditions in response to changing circumstances. The decision contributes to facilitating the pilgrimage experience for individuals and emphasizes the evolving nature of pilgrimage practices amid global health considerations.

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