In light of the current global pandemic, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has decided that Hajj will take place this year. However, only a limited number of nationals residing within Saudi Arabia will be allowed to attend the religious pilgrimage to Mecca.
In the statement issued to the Saudi Press Agency, the Ministry announced that as COVID-19 cases continue to grow, and due of the risks of coronavirus spreading in crowded spaces and from other countries, that Hajj will "take place this year with a limited number of pilgrims from all nationalities residing in Saudi Arabia only, who are willing to perform Hajj."
The Ministry added: "This decision is taken to ensure Hajj is safely performed while committing to all preventive measures to protect Muslims and adhere strictly to the teachings of Islam in preserving our health and safety."
The Ministry's statement also added that the Saudi Ministry of Health expects that the risks from coronavirus "are expected to grow further, but there is no vaccine available yet for those infected by the disease. Global health security needs to be preserved."
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah added that based on safety concerns, "the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, whose top priority is to always provide care to enable Muslims to perform Hajj or Umrah rites safely and securely, has taken severe precautionary measures to protect pilgrims since the beginning of COVID-19."
"In light that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has spread to more than 180 countries around the world, and that deaths related to COVID-19 have reached almost half a million and over 7 million cases have been confirmed globally, and in accordance with what has been stressed by the Saudi Ministry of Health, regarding the continued risks stemming from this pandemic and the lack of available vaccinations and a cure for those who have been infected by COVID-19 around the world, and to preserve the security of global public health especially in light of the increase in the number of cases in most countries according to reports issued by global health organizations and institutions, and considering the risks of the disease and infections spreading in crowded gatherings where it is difficult to maintain safe social distancing among the individuals gathered, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, whose top priority is to always enable Muslim pilgrims to perform Hajj and Umrah rites safely and securely, and which has been keen since the beginning of the pandemic to take all necessary precautionary measures to protect pilgrims, including by suspending the entry of Umrah pilgrims while ensuring the safety of the pilgrims already present at the holy sites, a decision that has received many approbations from Islamic and international organizations in recognition of its wide contribution to fighting the virus globally and supporting the efforts of health organizations in limiting the spread of the deadly disease, and in light of continuation of the pandemic and the risks of Coronavirus spreading in crowded spaces and large gatherings, and its transmission between countries, and the increase in average infections globally, it has been decided that Hajj for this year (1441 H/ 2020 AD) will be held whereby a very limited number of pilgrims from various nationalities who already reside in Saudi Arabia, would be able to perform it. This decision is taken to ensure Hajj is performed in a safe manner from a public health perspective while observing all preventative measures and the necessary social distancing protocols to protect human beings from the risks associated with this pandemic and in accordance with the teachings of Islam in preserving the lives of human beings.
"The government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques is honored to serve millions of Hajj and Umrah pilgrims annually, and it confirms that this decision stems from the top priority it accords maintaining the safety of pilgrims on its land until they depart to their home countries."