In a bid to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect pilgrims across the world, the Saudi Arabia government’s Ministry of Hajj and Ummarh Affairs has banned overseas Pilgrims from participating in this year’s 2021 Hajj Pilgrimage to Mecca for the second time in a row.
For many Ghanaian Muslims, the pilgrimage is once in a lifetime event with an average wait due to the quota system.
Before the pandemic enforced social distancing globally, some 2.5 million pilgrims used to visit the holiest sites of Islam in Mecca and Medina for the week-long Hajj, and the lesser, year-round Umrah pilgrimage, which altogether earned the kingdom about $12bn a year, according to official data.
In a communique signed between the Ghana Hajj Board, and the Ghana Hajj Agents Association at Hajj Village in Accra to address pilgrims and the general public on steps taken by the two organisations upon this year cancellation of Hajj, Sheikh I.C. Quaye, Chairman, Ghana Hajj Board explained pilgrims who wish for a refund will definitely receive it as soon as they applied for it.
“Pilgrims who paid directly to the Hajj board and wish to receive a refund of their Hajj fees (for 2020 payments), must apply to the Hajj Board for their refund to be paid expeditiously and also Pilgrims who, paid via their agents and wish to receive a refund of their Hajj fees (for 2020 payment) must apply via their agents for their 2020 Hajj feel payments to be paid expeditiously,” he said.
Adding that the board will absorb any additional increment of fares in case there is an increase in the 2022 Hajj.
“Pilgrims who wish to retain their Hajj fee deposits with the Hajj Board (for 2020 Hajj), will be exempted from paying any increment in the Hajj fare for 2022. Pilgrims who via their agents, wish to retain their Hajj fee deposits with the Hajj Board(for 2020 Hajj ) will be exempted from paying any increment in the Hajj fare for 2022”, Sheikh I.C. Quaye said.
He further indicated that the Hajj Board will ensure, that all monies paid by pilgrims directly to the Hajj Board or via their agents for 2020 Hajj will be paid in full per the above arrangements.
Below is the Full Communique: