Downsized Hajj begins amid coronavirus restrictions

Hajj, the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, has begun under very different circumstances amid the coronavirus pandemic

Pilgrims at this year’s Hajj know how privileged they are.

The annual five-day Islamic pilgrimage normally attracts 2.5 million people, but this year, due to the coronavirus, authorities are allowing just 10,000 to ensure physical distancing.

It is the first time in modern history that Muslims from abroad will not be able to attend.

The 10,000 pilgrims were selected by Saudi authorities from among citizens and foreign residents of Saudi Arabia.

They were required to wear masks and electronic wristbands that monitored their movements.

A coronavirus test and a short quarantine were also required ahead of the pilgrimage.

Authorities ordered a deep clean of Islam’s holiest site last week to minimise the risk of contagion from COVID-19.

This video was produced and edited by Al Jazeera NewsFeed’s ‘Hassan Ghani.