Saudi Arabia set to ban foreigners from haj for second year
Kingdom had a plan to boost pilgrimage numbers as part of its economic reform, but that was before Covid-19 struck
Saudi Arabia is considering barring overseas pilgrims from the annual haj for the second year running as Covid-19 cases rise globally and worries grow about the emergence of new variants, two sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.
Such a move would restrict the pilgrimage to Mecca, a once in a lifetime duty for every able-bodied Muslim who can afford it, to Saudi nationals and residents of the kingdom who were vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19.
While discussions about a possible ban have taken place, there has been no final decision on whether to pursue it, they said...