Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia reveals selection process for 2020 Hajj participants

Health standards will be the main determinant for selecting this year’s Hajj pilgrims amid the coronavirus outbreak, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah announced on Monday, according to official Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

Seventy percent of this year’s pilgrims will be non-Saudis residing in the Kingdom and 30 percent will be Saudis. However, only nationals who are healthcare workers and security forces who have recovered from the virus will be allowed to perform Hajj, as a way of showing appreciation for their efforts in fighting the virus in the country, SPA reported.

Authorities will use a database of names of those who have were serving on the frontlines when they became infected with the virus then recovered.

Priority will be given to non-Saudis – ages between 20 and 50 years old – residing in the Kingdom. However, they must meet the following criteria, as reported by SPA:

– Do not have any pre-existing conditions
– Must have a PCR test certificate showing negative results
– Did not previously perform the Hajj pilgrimage
– Must commit to abiding by the required quarantine period decided by the Ministry of Health before and after performing the Hajj pilgrimage

Non-Saudis who meet the requirements may register for a spot using this link: localhaj.haj.gov.sa

The registration process will be available for five days starting from Monday July 6 until Friday July 10, SPA reported.

The ministry added that the non-Saudi participants will be randomly selected through an electronic system. Those selected must submit all required documents within a specified deadline upon notification.

Saudi Arabia’s health ministry has developed high health standards and implemented precautionary measures for the Hajj pilgrimage, according to SPA.

Saudi Arabia’s Center for Disease Prevention and Control issued on Sunday coronavirus-related safety measures and restrictions for the upcoming Hajj pilgrimage season.

Joanne Serrieh, Al Arabiya English

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