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Two COVID-19 vaccine doses mandatory for pilgrims going on Hajj

Last year, Saudi Arabia had cancelled entry for outsiders to perform Hajj

hajj rep Pilgrims circumambulate around the Kaaba, the cubic building at the Grand Mosque in Mecca | AP

The Hajj Committee of India has informed that all Muslims intending to go on Hajj this year have to get both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine before leaving for Saudi Arabia.

Last year, Saudi Arabia had cancelled entry for outsiders to perform Hajj, instead allowing Muslims living in the kingdom to perform the pilgrimage.

The Times of India on Friday quoted Hajj Committee CEO Maqsood Ahmed Khan as saying, "It is informed that as per health minister of Saudi Arabia and an email from consulate-general of India, Jeddah, pilgrims visiting the kingdom need to get two doses of the vaccine before departure for Saudi Arabia."

“In case Indian pilgrims perform Hajj 2021, outgoing flights will start from mid-June. Those who have applied for Hajj 2021 are advised to take the first dose of the vaccine now on their own, so that at the time of departure, the second dose is also given to them,” The Times of India reported.

The Hajj this year is supposed to be held from July 17.

Khan noted that the Saudi government had not provided any communication on the Hajj pilgrimage yet. He added that those pilgrims travelling for Umrah would have to be vaccinated.

Earlier this month, the Saudi ministry of Hajj and Umrah had issued a statement giving guidelines for who could perform Umrah. Al Jazeera reported "These [pilgrims permitted to perform Umrah] include individuals who have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, those having received one dose of the vaccine at least 14 days before performing the pilgrimage, or a person who has recovered from the virus."


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