201008 Umrah
File image used for illustrative purposes: Pilgrims practice social distancing while praying around the Kaaba. Image Credit: Saudi Ministry of Haj and Umrah.

Dubai: Saudi Arabia has announced on Sunday that the Haj will be held this year following health and safety requirements due to the pandemic, local media reported.

In a statement issued today, the Haj and Umrah Ministry said that Haj will go ahead this year with all the health, security and regulatory standards and regulations in place in order to preserve the health and wellbeing of the pilgrims.

"Health institutions in Saudi Arabia will continue to assess the situation and take all the measures to preserve the health of all mankind," the ministry added.

The ministry said that it would announce the specific measures and organisational plans later.

Last year, Haj that usually sees over 2.5 million Muslims travel to Makkah was curtailed for the first time in modern history to allow just 1,000 pilgrims to take part due to COVID-19. With borders closed due to the coronavirus, only those inside Saudi Arabia were able to attend.