Saudi Arabia lifts restrictions on Hajj pilgrimage

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RIYADH (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia will lift restrictions imposed in the face of the COVID-19 epidemic to allow this year’s Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca to accommodate as many people as before the health crisis, said the authorities of the kingdom.

Some 2.6 million pilgrims had performed the hajj in 2019, the last year before the outbreak of the coronavirus responsible for COVID-19.

Riyadh had authorized a limited number of Saudi residents to make the pilgrimage in 2020 and 2021, before welcoming a million foreign pilgrims last year.

No restrictions will be in place this year, while only pilgrims between the ages of 18 and 65 and fully vaccinated against COVID-19 were allowed last year.

(Moaz Abd-Alaziz report; French version Jean Terzian)

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