According to the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, the country would lift its Covid-19 limitations for the 2023 Haj season and welcome pre-pandemic quantities of pilgrims.
Around 2.6 million people conducted the Hajj in 2019, the final year before the pandemic began. Prior to reopening its doors to one million international pilgrims in 2022, the kingdom only permitted small numbers of its citizens in 2020 and 2021.
In a tweet, the Haj ministry stated that this season, the kingdom will not impose any limitations, including age restrictions.
In 2022, access was limited to pilgrims who were 18 to 65 years old, had received a complete coronavirus vaccination or immunization, and was free of any chronic illnesses. In 2023, the Haj season is anticipated to start on June 26. The kingdom has poured billions of dollars into securing one of the largest religious gatherings on earth throughout the years. Government revenue from the Haj is mostly derived from the hotel, transportation, fees, and gifts given by pilgrims.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s economic reform plan intends to enhance the capacity of Umrah and Haj to 30 million pilgrims annually and to produce 50 billion riyals ($13.32 billion) in revenue by 2030.