The health regulations and recommendations for travellers to Saudi Arabia for Hajj pilgrimage in 2017, have been published by the Saudia Arabia Ministry of Health (SMoH). Hajj is the largest annual pilgrimage in the world and occurs from the 8-13th day of the 12th month in the Islamic calendar. In 2017 Hajj will fall approximately between 30th August - 4th September.
The SMoH strongly recommends that elderly (above 65 years of age) and those with chronic diseases (e.g. heart disease, kidney disease, respiratory disease, diabetes), immune deficiency (congenital and acquired), malignancy and terminal illnesses, pregnant women and children (under 12 years) postpone the performance of Hajj and Umrah in 2017 for their own safety.
Pilgrims are advised to follow health guidelines to curb the spread of respiratory infections, including Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronovirus (MERS-CoV), to prevent diarrhoeal disease, and minimise heat-related problems, amongst others. The SMoH website includes useful health information and resources for pilgrims to this years Hajj. It is strongly recommended that all pilgrims obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance (including repatriation) before travel.
Hajj and Umrah Vaccination Requirements (2017)
Adults and children over the age of 2 years arriving for the purpose of Hajj or Umrah pilgrimage (or for seasonal work in the Hajj area) are required to produce a certificate of vaccination with quadrivalent ACW-135Y vaccine against meningitis. Both conjugate and polysaccharide vaccines are acceptable for certificate purposes, but use of conjugate vaccine is the preferred choice in the UK.
- Conjugate vaccine - single dose to be given not more than 5 years and not less than 10 days prior to arrival
- Polysaccharide vaccine - single dose to be given not more than 3 years and not less than 10 days prior to arrival
- In the UK, visas will not be issued unless proof of vaccination, at least 10 days prior to the expected date of entry into Saudi Arabia, is submitted with the visa application.
There are certain other vaccinations which maybe recommended for personal protection, including hepatitis A, influenza and measles. In addition, the SMoH has compulsory vaccination requirements for Hajj pilgrims entering from certain countries other than the UK, for example yellow fever and poliomyelitis.
Full details on recommended vaccines and malaria advice for travellers from the UK are on the Saudi Arabia country page.
Further details on Hajj requirements 2017 can be found on the Hajj and Umrah Pilgrimage Health Information page.