Saudi Arabia has decided to limit registration for this year's Hajj to citizens and residents of the Kingdom for the second consecutive year due to coronavirus pandemic.
Country's ministers of health and Hajj announced Saturday that a total of 60,000 pilgrims will be allowed to perform the pilgrimage this year, reports Arab News.
It stressed that those wishing to perform Hajj must be free of any chronic diseases, and to be within the ages from 18 to 65 years for those vaccinated against the virus according to the kingdom's vaccination measures.
The decision is "based on the Kingdom's constant keenness to enable the guests and visitors at the Grand Mosque and the Prophet's Mosque to perform the rituals of Hajj and Umrah," the ministry said. "The Kingdom puts human health and safety first."
State Minister for Religious Affairs Faridul Haque Khan said, "Saudi government informed us that none from outside the country will be allowed to perform hajj this year too."
The hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam and a must for able-bodied Muslims at least once in their lifetime, is usually one of the world's largest religious gatherings.
But only up to 10,000 people already residing in the kingdom participated last year's ritual, compared with 2019's gathering of some 2.5 million from around the world.