The Minister for Religious Affair and Interfaith Harmony, Sahibzada Noor-ur-Haq Qadri, has stated that only 40,000 to 50,000 Pakistanis will be able to perform Hajj this year owing to the special circumstances in which the pilgrimage will take place this year amidst the pandemic.
He said that Hajj will be performed under special norms, rules and regulations, eligibility, criteria, and age restrictions this year.
Among the many conditions attached to the Hajj this year is the mandatory COVID-19 test for pilgrims, in addition to strict adherence to the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
The minister also announced that people below the age of 20 and above the age of 50 may not be permitted to perform Hajj. He added that Saudi Arabia may only allow pilgrims who are in good health and are not suffering from serious illnesses.
The minister clarified that the Saudi government has not disclosed any definite Hajj plans as the Saudi Hajj, Umrah, tourism, and health ministries are considering how to ensure the safety and security of the pilgrimage this year.