Age restrictions may be imposed for the Haj pilgrimage scheduled for 2021 in view of the Covid-19 protocol guidelines framed by the government of Saudi Arabia. The online registration for the pilgrimage began on Saturday and will close on December 10.
Union minister for minority affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the pilgrimage will be conducted as per the new norms, rules and regulations, eligibility criteria, age restrictions, health and fitness requirements, and other relevant conditions of the Saudi Arabian government amid the pandemic.
The pilgrimage was suspended this year on account of the pandemic.
In keeping with the guidelines, pilgrims will have to undergo tests before embarking on the pilgrimage at least 72 hours prior to the journey and submit a PCR test certificate issued by an approved laboratory, Naqvi said.
“Haj 2021 is scheduled for June-July 2021, and the entire Haj process is being held according to the necessary guidelines issued by the Saudi Arabia Government and the Government of India in view of Corona pandemic to ensure health and well-being of the people in India and Saudi Arabia,” he said.
The applications filled for Haj 2020 by women under without mehram, or male companions, category is valid for Haj 2021 also. Women travellers under the category will be exempted from the lottery system.
The embarkation points for Haj 2021 have been reduced to 10 from 21 following feedback from the concerned agencies. The embarkation points include Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Cochin, Delhi, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai and Srinagar.