Saudi Arabia has not yet announced Hajj policy for this year, but Pakistan maintains complete arrangements for sending limited pilgrims for Hajj, said the Minister for Religious Relations and Interfaith Harmony and Dr. Noorul Haq Qadri.
In an interview with Voice of America (VOA), Qadri said that this year’s Hajj will be expensive compared to last year’s cost due to COVID-19 SOPs, but an accurate estimate can only be made after Saudi Arabia announces final SOPs and the number of pilgrims for Hajj.
It is not possible for Saudi Arabia to take normal action because there is little time left for the hajj. He said Saudi Arabia could make limited arrangements, but the number of pilgrims is not confirmed yet.
Qadri described that the Pakistani government was in contact with the Saudi authorities and that Saudi Arabia also wanted to gain confidence in the main Muslim country before the final decision. He said Saudi Arabia was implementing strict SOPs to combat coronaviruses during the Hajj and was ensuring that Pakistan implemented SOPs for coronaviruses.
He added that all pilgrims must undergo negative COVID-19 tests before departure and that all pilgrims must undergo a three-day quarantine upon arrival in Saudi Arabia.
The coronavirus test is also mandatory on arrival in Mádina from Mecca and on return to Mecca.
According to the federal minister, each country will have a specific time to carry out Tawaf-e-Ziarat and Umrah in Haram, so as not to create congestion. The minister said: “Pakistan is able to complete the measures in a short time after allocation of Hajj Quota Hajj.