Information for travellers to Saudi Arabia for Hajj pilgrimage in 2018

29 May 2018

Article: 52/2102

The Saudi Ministry of Health (MoH) have issued their requirements and recommendations for entry visas for the Hajj and Umrah in 2018. These are updated annually.

In addition, the Saudi MoH website includes useful health information and resources for pilgrims to Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi MoH strongly recommends that the following people postpone their Hajj and Umrah in 2018, for their own safety:

  • the elderly (above 65 years of age)
  • those with chronic diseases (e.g. heart disease, kidney disease, respiratory disease, diabetes)
  • immune deficiency (congenital and acquired)
  • those with malignant disease
  • those who are terminally ill
  • pregnant women
  • children (under 12 years)

It is strongly recommended that all pilgrims obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance (including repatriation) before travel.

Meningococcal meningitis vaccine

Visitors arriving for Umrah, Hajj or for seasonal work in Hajj zones, are required to submit a valid vaccination certificate with a Quadrivalent (ACWY) meningococcal vaccine administered no less than 10 days prior to arrival to Saudi Arabia.

Vaccination with one of the following vaccines is acceptable:

  • Quadrivalent (ACWY) polysaccharide vaccine within the last three years
  • Quadrivalent (ACWY) conjugate vaccine within the last five years

If the vaccine type is not indicated in the certificate, the certificate will be valid for three years.

Vaccination with Quadrivalent (ACWY) conjugate vaccine is also required for:

  • domestic pilgrims
  • residents of the two holy cities (Mecca and Medina)
  • any person who may be in contact with pilgrims including personnel in healthcare settings

The Saudi MoH may opt to administer prophylactic antibiotics to some travellers at the points of entry if deemed necessary.

Other vaccines

There are certain other vaccinations which may be recommended for personal protection, including hepatitis A, influenza and measles. In addition, the Saudi MoH 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 TRAVAX Saudi Arabia country page.

Further details on Hajj requirements 2018 can be found on the TRAVAX (for health professionals) and fitfortravel (for the general public) websites.