Mecca: Saudi Arabia has set an age limit of 65 for those travelling to the holy city of Mecca this year, besides deciding to increase the number of domestic and foreign Hajj pilgrims to 10 lakh from below 60,000 last year.
The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said the quota for each country would be announced soon. Pilgrims should be totally inoculated against COVID-19 with vaccines approved by the Saudi health ministry, besides presenting a pandemic-negative certificate received 72 hours prior to leaving their country of origin.
With the ministry setting the age limit, India has re-invited applications from those wishing to undertake the pilgrimage to Islam's holiest site, the Kaaba at the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca.
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah also stressed on the need for the pilgrims to take care of their health and safety, and to adhere to its instructions.
As many as 20-25 lakh pilgrims used to take the holy pilgrimage during pre-COVID years. Saudi Arabia allowed only 1,000 people in 2020, and 58,745 in 2021 to undertake the pilgrimage. Additionally, only those in the Kingdom were allowed to proceed to Mecca.