Sunday, October 17, 2021

Hajj 2021: Saudi Arabia announces COVID-19 SOPs for pilgrims

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RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has announced standard operating procedures (SOPs) to be followed by the pilgrims coming to the kingdom for Hajj 2021 amid COVID-19 pandemic, ARY NEWS reported on Tuesday.

According to the Saudi Ministry of Health, the authorities in the kingdom have made it compulsory for the pilgrims to get vaccinated from the designated COVID vaccine ahead of the Hajj 2021.

“The pilgrims will be bound to get vaccination ahead of the month of Zilhaj- most precisely two weeks ahead of visiting the kingdom- and had to provide a concrete evidence of getting a jab from WHO-certified vaccines,” it said adding that the foreign pilgrims would have to undergo a COVID-19 test on their arrival in the kingdom.

The health ministry further shared that those working during the Hajj 2021 would also have to receive a dose of COVID vaccine and would be bound to wear a face mask permanently during working hours.

“Those arriving in the kingdom during the Hajj season will have to undergo a PCR test 72 hours before their arrival,” it said adding that the pilgrims would have to spend 72 hours in quarantine.

The pilgrims would undergo COVID test 48 hours after their arrival by approved field service teams, the handout issued by Saudi Arabia’s ministry said adding that 60 percent population of the holy cities, Makkah and Medinah, will undergo vaccination.

Read More: COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for Hajj 2021: Saudi Arabia

On March 09, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman approved a range of initiatives aimed at assisting firms and individuals operating in support of Islamic pilgrimages, Saudi state news agency SPA said.

The initiatives are aimed at mitigating the financial and economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic across the sector that provides support for the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages, SPA said.

They include exempting accommodation facilities from the annual fees for municipal commercial activities’ licenses in the cities of Makkah and Medina, where the Islamic pilgrimages take place.

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