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Saudi Arabia releases Covid-19 guidelines for Hajj pilgrimage

Jul 07, 2020 18:06 IST

Saudi Arabia has issued guidelines for the 1,000 pilgrims who will be allowed to perform the hajj pilgrimage in Mecca later this month. The pilgrims will be only be able to drink holy water from the Zamzam well in Mecca that is packaged in plastic bottles, and pebbles for casting away evil that are usually picked up by pilgrims along hajj routes will be sterilised and bagged ahead of time. Pilgrims will also have to bring their own prayer rugs. The guidelines were announced on Monday as Saudi authorities prepare to carry out a very limited hajj, which for the first time, will not include pilgrims from outside the country. The kingdom said that 70%of pilgrims allowed to participate this year will be from among foreign residents of Saudi Arabia, 30% would be Saudi citizens. The new guidelines also mandate that foreign residents in Saudi Arabia who want to participate in this year's pilgrimage should be between the ages of 20 and 50, and that have not performed the hajj before. The pilgrims will have to quarantine before and after the hajj, and they will be tested for the coronavirus.