For two years, Muslims around the world have not been allowed to perform their pilgrimage, and therefore the Hajj due to health restrictions imposed following the COVID-19 pandemic. The kingdom welcomed more than 2.5 million pilgrims every year, including 36,000 Algerians. This figure had been revised downwards, reaching 1,000 people, all from inside Saudi Arabia.
The Algerians, very enthusiastic about this opening, were for many very interested, but like every year a quota is imposed in order to respect a certain equity between the Muslims residing in the different corners of the globe. Indeed, for this year 2022, i.e. 1443, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has revealed the percentage of pilgrim quotas from authorized countries which is set at 8,697 pilgrims for Algeria.
The country therefore ranks 11th among the Islamic countries, and second in the Arab world just behind Egypt authorized to send 35,375 people.
As a reminder, in a statement issued recently, the Prime Minister of Hajj and Umrah in Saudi Arabia announced that the number of pilgrims would reach one million, knowing that this number includes foreigners but also Muslims living in within the realm itself.
Conditions set, despite the relaxation of health measures
Despite a reopening of the borders, and much more flexible sanitary conditions, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia wanted to keep certain measures in place in order to guarantee the safety of pilgrims but also to maintain an acceptable sanitary situation within the territory. Indeed, each new arrival must present a complete anti-COVID vaccination schedule approved by the Saudi Ministry of Health, in addition to a negative PCR test of less than 72 hours.
In addition, very old people are not allowed to perform Hajj this year 2022, more precisely those over 65 years old.