Saudi Arabia’s civil aviation authorities have set out several conditions for health requirements which Hajj pilgrims from outside the kingdom have to meet before landing in the country to perform the annual pilgrimage.
In a circular issued to all airlines operating in the kingdom's airports, including private aviation, the General Authority of Civil Aviation said Hajj passengers must be under 65, fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and submit a negative result from a PCR test taken within 72 hours of their departure flight.
“The authority emphasised that non-compliance with the circulars issued by the authority is an explicit violation of government orders, and legal measures will be taken against the violator, and he or she will be held responsible for that,” the authority said in a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency.
Foreign worshippers will make up the bulk of the one million pilgrims allowed to perform Hajj this year, the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said last month.
Hajj pilgrims travelling from overseas are expected to constitute 85 per cent of the total number attending. Foreign pilgrims were barred from attending over the past two years due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Each year, millions of Muslims travel to Makkah to perform Hajj, with many also travelling farther north to the city of Madinah.
All Muslims who are able to do so are required to make the pilgrimage at least once in their lives. Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam.
The UAE set out its own safety measures for citizens and residents preparing to perform Hajj.
Pilgrims must be under 65, have never performed Hajj previously and be fully vaccinated with a booster shot, the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority and the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments said.