According to an unnamed senior official quoted by the UK’s Financial Times, “the case has been carefully studied and various scenarios are being considered.”
“A formal decision will be taken within a week,” the official added.
More than two million pilgrims participate in Haj every year. This year, the event is scheduled for late July.
Government data shows that Haj – as well as Umrah - is a major contributor to the Saudi economy, worth approximately $12 billion each year.
A separate report, from Reuters, has reported that Saudi officials are also considering drastically cutting back on the number of pilgrims allowed to enter the kingdom, with possible restrictions including a ban on elderly pilgrims and stringent health checks.
“With strict procedures, authorities think it may be possible to allow in up to 20 percent of each country’s regular quota of pilgrims,” the report added.
Officials in a number of countries – including Singapore and Indonesia – have said that their citizens would not participate in this year’s Haj, while India’s Haj committee has said that there is “little chance” of the pilgrimage occurring.
To date, there have been over 123,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country, including 932 deaths.