Saudi Arabia has not announced a Hajj policy yet, however, Pakistan has made complete arrangements to send limited pilgrims for Hajj, says Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Dr Noorul Haq Qadri.

In an interview with Ali Furqan on Voice of America (VOA), Qadri said that this year’s Hajj would be a bit expensive as compared to the last year due to COVID-19 SOPs, however, an exact estimate can only be made after the final announcement by Saudi Arabia regarding SOPs and number of pilgrims.

It would not be possible for Saudi Arabia to make normal arrangements as there’s a little time left for Hajj. He said Saudi Arabia will be able to make limited arrangements, but it has not confirmed the number of pilgrims.

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Qadri told that the Pakistan government is in contact with Saudi authorities and Saudi Arabia also wanted to take major Muslim countries in confidence before a final decision. He said that Saudi Arabia was making strict SOPs for Hajj during the pandemic. Pakistan will be ensuring the application of these coronavirus SOPs.

Read More: Saudi Arabia says COVID-19 vaccination is ‘must’ for 2021 Hajj

He further added that all pilgrims would have to submit negative COVID-19 tests results before leaving Pakistan and after the arrival in Saudi Arabia, all pilgrims will have to self-isolate for three days. 

A coronavirus test will also be compulsory on arrival in Madina from Makkah and on returning back to Makkah.

Regarding the issue of Saudi Arabia’s not accepting the Chinese vaccine, the minister said, “Pakistan will convince Saudi Arabia to recognise Chinese vaccine as WHO has approved the Sinopharm vaccine of China and most Pakistanis have been administered with the Chinese vaccine.” 

In the proposed Hajj policy, Saudi Arabia has recommended vaccines including Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson’s.