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Hajj Pilgrims Arrive to Arafat

Hajj Pilgrims Arrive to Arafat

Thursday, 30 July, 2020 - 07:30
Pilgrims moving around the Kaaba and showing their commitment to social distancing as part of the exceptional procedures witnessed by the pilgrimage season this year, Asharq Al-Awsat
Makkah - Saeed al-Abyad, Ibrahim al-Qarshi

Hajj pilgrims on Thursday will stand on Arafat after having arrived at Makkah's sacred sites and spent Wednesday night at Mina.

The pilgrims visited Masjid al-Haram to perform Hajj rituals before heading to Mina, amid strict health precautionary measures.

Hajj authorities have taken precautionary measures recommended in the Hajj preventative protocols for this year and have adopted a tight transporting schedule for pilgrims that ensures social distancing while they perform Hajj rites.

Supervisors are accompanying Hajj pilgrims through their journey, while ritual sites have been sterilized before and after groups of pilgrims visited.

Gates of entry to each ritual sites have been designated to different Hajj pilgrim groups and social distancing was abided by during the performance of rituals and prayers. Virtual tracks were used to facilitate the movement of crowds.

The Saudi Health Ministry, for its part, has completed PCR testing for all workers at holy sites that will be engaging with pilgrims this year. Workers from the private and public sectors were tested to ensure their safety and that they are free of COVID-19.

This step comes as part of the preventative measures laid out by the Health Ministry’s plan for this Hajj season which upholds the highest standards and works to ensure that this Hajj pilgrim is conducted safely under the current global pandemic.

The Directorate General of Passports (Jawazat) chief Maj. Gen. Sulaiman Al-Yahya said that any foreigner that was involved in illegally transporting unpermitted Hajj pilgrims will be deported. They will also be banned from entering the Kingdom.

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, Yahya said that there will be legal prosecution and the vehicle used to transport the pilgrims will be confiscated and a fine for every unlawfully transported pilgrim will be due.

Yahya said that the perpetrators will be fined up to 50,000 riyals per pilgrim they transported.

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