The Saudi Arabia Ministry for Hajj and Umrah has announced that Ghana’s quota for this year’s hajj is 3,069 pilgrims.
This was made known by the Chairman of the Hajj Board, Sheikh I C Quaye, at a meeting with members of the Hajj Agents Association of Ghana.
The Chairman also said potential pilgrims above 65 years of age will not be allowed into Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj.
The Saudis have also hinted that this year’s Hajj will be expensive for three main reasons, such as the increment of Value Added Tax (VAT) from 5 to 15 percent, and the demolition and reconstruction of buildings and hotels in Mecca.
“Last but not the least, was the huge investment made in Mina and Arafat,” a statement signed by the Director of Communications of the Pilgrims Affairs Office of Ghana, Dr. (Alhaji) Abubakari Sidick Ahmed said.
“On health, Chairman I C Quaye added that the Saudis have also put in place strict health control measures during the Hajj period from 7th – 12th July 2022.”
Below are the health control measures;
1. Age limit & testing requirements
Hajj will be available this year for those under 65 years of age, provided that they obtain the basic doses of vaccines approved in the Kingdom, and they must present a negative PCR test taken not more than 72 hours prior to their arrival in the Kingdom.
Pilgrims must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with the complete doses of the following vaccines to be able to enter Saudi Arabia:
• Pfizer/BioNTech. 2 doses
• Oxford/AstraZeneca: 2 doses
• Johnson and Johnson. 1 dose
• Moderna. 2 doses
• Sinopharm + 1 dose of any of the above vaccines
• Sinovac + 1 dose of 1 of any of the above vaccines
No quarantine will be necessary for foreign pilgrims fully vaccinated with vaccines approved in Saudi Arabia.
Pilgrims must have medical insurance to cover any COVID-19-related treatment costs during their stay.
Worshippers are no longer required to obtain a permit and appointment to pray at the Grand Mosque in Makkah as well as the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah.
All intending pilgrims must be registered online through e-hajj. The e-track was already active.
The Hajj Board is to conclude all arrangements with service providers by the middle of May 2022.
“In this regard, a delegation led by the Chairman is leaving for Saudi Arabia for further negotiations on housing, transport, medical, flight, and other services,” the statement added.