Saudi Arabia receives 1st foreign Hajj pilgrims since COVID began | Coronavirus pandemic News

A gaggle from Indonesia landed in Medina and is ready to journey south to the holy metropolis of Mecca within the coming weeks, reviews state media.

A gaggle of Hajj pilgrims from Indonesia has landed within the metropolis of Medina from the place they are going to be travelling to the holy metropolis of Mecca, marking the arrival of the primary batch of pilgrims from outdoors the dominion after two years as a result of coronavirus pandemic, based on state media.

Saudi Arabia final month introduced it will permit a million individuals – from each inside and outdoors the dominion – to carry out the Hajj which is able to happen in July in contrast with about 60,000 final yr and fewer than 1,000 in 2020.

“At the moment we obtained the primary group of this yr’s pilgrims from Indonesia, and the flights will proceed from Malaysia and India,” Mohammed al-Bijawi of the nation’s Hajj Ministry advised the state-run Al-Ekhbariya channel.

“At the moment we’re comfortable to obtain the company of God from outdoors the dominion, after a two-year interruption as a result of pandemic,” he added, describing Saudi Arabia as “absolutely ready” to accommodate them.

One of many 5 pillars of Islam, the Hajj should be undertaken by all Muslims who’ve the means no less than as soon as of their lives.

Often one of many world’s largest spiritual gatherings, about 2.5 million individuals participated in 2019 – the final Hajj earlier than the coronavirus outbreak.

Barring abroad pilgrims brought on deep disappointment amongst Muslims worldwide, who sometimes save for years to participate.

The Hajj consists of a collection of non secular rites which might be accomplished over 5 days in Islam’s holiest metropolis, Mecca, and surrounding areas of western Saudi Arabia.

Internet hosting the Hajj is a matter of status for Saudi rulers, because the custodianship of Islam’s holiest websites is essentially the most highly effective supply of their political legitimacy.

Earlier than the pandemic, Muslim pilgrimages have been main income earners for the dominion, bringing in about $12bn yearly.

This yr’s pilgrimage will probably be restricted to vaccinated Muslims beneath 65 years of age, the Hajj Ministry has stated.

These coming from outdoors Saudi Arabia, who should apply for Hajj visas, are required to submit a unfavourable COVID-19 PCR consequence from a take a look at taken inside 72 hours of journey.