The Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony has announced that it will start refunding this year’s Hajj dues to all applicants from Thursday.
According to a spokesperson of the ministry, the decision has been taken in light of the Saudi government’s decision to hold a limited Hajj this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The spokesperson said the amounts deposited by hopeful pilgrims will be refunded through scheduled banks across the country and all applicants are being informed via SMS.
“Applicants should come in person to receive the amount in cash, while group leaders should come to the bank with all original documents of group members in case of receiving through cheque,” the spokesperson said.
Applicants can contact Accounts Officer Refund at 051-9208465 in case of any difficulty in the refund process, the spokesperson added.
Earlier this week, Saudi Arabia had announced it would hold Hajj 2020 with a “very limited number” of pilgrims residing in the country.
The Kingdom later said it will allow only around 1,000 pilgrims residing in the country to perform the pilgrimage. “The number of pilgrims will be around 1,000, maybe less, maybe a little more,” Hajj Minister Mohammad Benten told reporters.
“The number won’t be in tens or hundreds of thousands” this year, he added.
The pilgrimage, scheduled for the end of July, will be limited to those below 65 years of age and with no chronic illnesses, Health Minister Tawfiq al-Rabiah had added.
The pilgrims will be tested for coronavirus before arriving in the holy city of Makkah and will be required to quarantine at home after the ritual, Rabiah added.