According to Saudi newspaper Okaz, the Saudi Health Ministry has agreed that only people who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 will be permitted to attend the Haj 2021.
The report cited a circular signed by the health minister as saying, “The Covid-19 vaccine is obligatory for those willing to come to the Haj 2021 and will be one of the key requirements (for obtaining a permit to come).”
Saudi Arabia’s prestige is built on its protection of Islam’s holiest sites in Mecca and Medina, as well as the peaceful organization of the Haj, which has historically been clouded by fatal stampedes, explosions, and riots.
Since forbidding Muslims from engaging in the ritual for the first time in modern history, the kingdom sharply decreased the number of pilgrims to about 1,000 in 2020 to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
The Haj is a significant source of revenue for the Saudi government, since it is a once-in-a-lifetime obligation for Muslims who can afford it.
Virus transmission will most likely be a breeding ground for millions of pilgrims from around the world. Some worshippers have come home with respiratory and other illnesses in the past.