Hajj 2023: Saudi Arabia Removes Restrictions on Pilgrim Numbers, Age Limit and Covid-19 Restrictions
Riyadh, January 10: With no restrictions this year, the number of Hajj pilgrims in Saudi Arabia in the upcoming season will be similar to the pre-pandemic levels, Reuters reported citing state media. Saudi Arabia will not impose any restrictions, including age limits, on Hajj pilgrims in 2023, according to the Hajj minister.
“The number of pilgrims will return to what it was before the pandemic, without any age limit,” Tawfiq al-Rabiah, minister of Hajj and Umrah, announced during the opening of Hajj Expo 2023.
The ministry of Hajj and Umrah, however, had earlier said that priority for registration this year will be given to those who have not made the pilgrimage before, reported local media.
Hajj season is expected to begin on June 26 in 2023.
The pilgrimage is one of five pillars of Islam, which all able-bodied Muslims with the means are required to perform at least once.
In 2019, before the pandemic prompted restrictions across the world, some 2.6 million people performed the Hajj. The Saudi kingdom in the next two years allowed only limited numbers from its residents before welcoming back one million foreign pilgrims in 2022. However, only people aged 18 to 65 who were fully vaccinated or immunised against Covid and did not suffer from chronic illness were allowed to perform Hajj last year.