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Saudi Arabia Has Officially Lifted All Hajj COVID 19 Restrictions

After 3 years of strict COVID 19 restrictions, Saudi Arabia has officially announced their lifting for Hajj. The kingdom’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah announced that this year’s annual pilgrimage, due to begin on 26th June 2023, will take place as per pre-pandemic rules. The lifting of the restrictions means that there will no longer be any limitation on the number and age of pilgrims— which was a restriction imposed in 2020 to help curb the outbreak of Covid-19. Over the period when Hajj restrictions were in place, pilgrims were strictly required to be between 18 to 65 years of age, must have been fully vaccinated, and not suffering from any diseases.

Dr Tawfiq Al Rabiah, minister of Hajj and Umrah said in a released statement, “Number of Hajj pilgrims in 1444H will return to how it was before the Coronavirus pandemic without age restrictions.” It was also stated that the cost of medical insurance for Hajj has been reduced to 88 SAR per person, by over 60%. Saudi authorities also conveyed that those who have never performed Hajj will be prioritized for the 2023 pilgrimage.

For Umrah pilgrimages, visas have been extended from 30 to 90 days. This allows pilgrims the leisure time and opportunity to explore the Kingdom’s newest culture and entertainment attractions after performing their religious rituals. “Any visitor to the Kingdom with any type of visa can perform the Umrah and visit Madinah,” Dr Al Rabiah said. “We worked with partners to enrich the cultural experience after performing the rituals and developing and activating Islamic historical sites related to the Prophet’s biography.”

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