Saudi Arabia has opened Hajj registration for foreign residents in the Kingdom, saying they will make up 70 percent of the pilgrims this year.

The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said that health standards would be the main determinant for choosing the pilgrims participating this season.

It said registration is now open at localhaj.haj.gov.sa and will be available for five days starting Monday.

The Kingdom scaled down the number of participants taking part this year to curb the spread of coronavirus due to the health risks involved.

The ministry said the percentage of non-Saudis who are already residents in the Kingdom will be 70 percent of the total number of pilgrims.

Saudi citizens will make up the remaining 30 percent, with the ritual restricted to medical professionals and security personnel who have recovered from the virus, the ministry said.

They will be selected through the database of coronavirus recoverers, in appreciation of their role during the pandemic.

Saudi Arabia announced last month it would hold a “very limited” Hajj and has decided to exclude pilgrims arriving from outside the Kingdom to avoid the spread of coronavirus.
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