Twenty people have been caught violating the rules and regulations of Hajj and will be subject to a fine of around $2,666 (10,000 Riyals), Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Sunday.
Official spokesperson of Hajj Security Forces Command Brigadier Sami al-Shuwairekh called on all Saudi citizens and residents to follow the instructions put in place for the Hajj season this year, stressing that security personnel will implement regulations set out for people who attempt to reach the Holy Mosque, Holy Sites (Mina, Muzdalifah, Arafat) and surrounding areas without a pre-approved permit.
This year’s Hajj is taking place under strict rules and regulations to limit the spread of COVID-19 during the holy pilgrimage. Due to this, only 60,000 pilgrims were accepted to partake in Hajj this year, all of whom had to meet specific criteria.
Only vaccinated citizens and residents have been given permission to perform the ritual, with pilgrims all between the ages of 18 and 65, with none suffering from chronic illnesses, while no one has performed Hajj before.
Mecca normally welcomes more than 2.5 million Muslims from across the world for Hajj.
In 2020, months after the pandemic’s onset, the Kingdom permitted only 10,000 people to take part in the ritual.