Haj 2021: Covid-19 -ve report must for pilgrims; last date for application is Dec 10

The online application process for Haj 2021 started on Saturday. Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi announced that the pilgrims will have to deal with significant changes in view of the coronavirus pandemic.

Haj pilgrims will now have to submit COVID-19 negative reports 72 hours prior to their journey to Saudi Arabia in 2021.

After holding a meeting with the Haj Committee and other stake-holders, the minister for minority affairs told reporters that December 10 is the last date for submitting applications for Haj pilgrimage 2021.

“The applicants can apply online, off-line or through Haj mobile application as well. In view of the coronavirus pandemic, we are making it mandatory for all the pilgrims to submit their COVID-19 negative report of RT-PCR test. The date of testing should be 72 hours prior to boarding a flight to Saudi Arabia," he said.

Naqvi also said embarking points for Haj 2021 have been reduced to ten in view of the COVID-19 situation and the feedback received from Air India and other agencies.

Previously, there were 21 such embarking locations across the country.

He said the ten boarding spots are Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Cochin, Delhi, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai and Srinagar.

Naqvi said applications filled for Haj 2020 by women in "without mehram (male companion)" category are valid for Haj 2021 as well. “Besides, new applications are also being accepted from women who want to perform Haj 2021 without mehram,” he said.

The minister also said Muslim women applying in "without mehram" category will be exempted from the lottery system.

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Free Press Journal