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‘Lucky’ few start downsized Hajj pilgrimage amid restrictions

Al Jazeera, 18 Jul 2021
The annual Hajj pilgrimage has kicked off in Saudi Arabia with only a few thousand people gathered on the Plain of Arafat on Monday for the start of the five-day-long rituals.
Only 60,000 vaccinated Saudi citizens and residents between the ages of 18 and 65 were allowed to register for the annual pilgrimage.
A new digital system has been introduced. Worshippers must use a smart card to gain entry to the holy sites. It also contains their medical history and services for food and transport.
In the years before the pandemic, about 2.5 million pilgrims from across the world flocked to Islam’s holiest site to attend the Hajj.

Al Jazeera’s Sara Khairat reports on this year's restrictions.

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