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September 29
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Saudi Arabia's Hajj and Umrah Ministry allowed pilgrims from abroad to make the hajj this year for the first time since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the Saudi News Agency reported, citing the ministry.

They increased to one million the number of pilgrims allowed to visit the holy sites in Mecca and Medina.

Before the pandemic, Muslim pilgrimages were key revenue earners for the kingdom, bringing in some $12 billion annually.

This year, people under the age of 65 who have been fully vaccinated with the kingdom's approved vaccines will be able to attend the hajj. They will have to submit a negative PCR test done within 72 hours before entering the kingdom.

In the first year of the pandemic, Saudi Arabia allowed only resident Muslims to make the hajj, limiting their number to 1,000. Last year, the Hajj was also attended only by residents of the kingdom, although their number was increased to 60,000.

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