Hajj and Umrah 2022 Vaccination Requirements

Authored by
Last reviewed
January 22, 2022

Hajj and Umrah 2022 Vaccine Requirements

The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health has established several vaccine requirements that visitors must meet to obtain an Entry Visa for Hajj and Umrah in 2022. And the Government of Saudi Arabia approved certain COVID-19 vaccines when visiting The Kingdom. ​​

Before traveling for Hajj or Umrah 2022, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia says the Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty), Moderna (SpikeVax), AstraZeneca, Covishield, SK Bioscience, Vaxzevria, Jansen (Johnson & Johnson), and the Sputnik V vaccines meet fully-vaccinated travel requirements. However, those vaccinated with two doses of Sinopharm, Sinovac, and Covaxin vaccines have additional requirements upon arrival.

Hajj and Umrah Vaccination Requirements For 2022

Pilgrims who have received COVID-19 vaccines that are not recognized by Saudi Arabia, but recognized by the World Health Organization, could be required to quarantine upon arrival, subject to receiving an approved booster dose. Vaccine information is listed at the Unified Portal for External Hajj 2022 link.

The Hajj and Umrah 2022 health regulations and vaccination requirements include COVID-19 vaccines and the following vaccines:

Yellow Fever: Following the International Health Regulations 2005, all travelers arriving from countries or areas at risk of yellow fever must present a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate showing that the person was vaccinated at least ten days and ten years before arrival border. In case of the absence of such a certificate, the individual will be placed under strict surveillance for six days from the date of vaccination or the last date of potential exposure to infection, whichever is earlier.

Meningococcal Meningitis:  Visitors arriving for Umrah or pilgrimage (Hajj) or seasonal work must submit a vaccination certificate with the quadrivalent (ACYW135) vaccine against meningitis issued no more than three years and no less than ten days before arrival in Saudi Arabia.

Polio:  All travelers arriving from polio-endemic countries and re-established transmission countries should receive one dose of oral polio vaccine (regardless of age and vaccination status). Proof of polio vaccination at least six weeks before departure is required for visitors from polio-endemic and re-established transmission countries to apply for an entry visa for Saudi Arabia, and travelers will also receive one dose of OPV at border points on arrival in Saudi Arabia. The exact requirements are valid for travelers from recently endemic countries at high risk of re-importation of poliovirus. Irrespective of previous immunization history, all visitors under 15 years arriving in Saudi Arabia will also receive one dose of OPV at border points.

Seasonal Flu Shot:  The Saudi Ministry of Health recommends that international pilgrims be vaccinated against seasonal influenza before arrival into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, particularly those at increased risk of severe influenza diseases, including pregnant women, children under five years, the elderly, and individuals with underlying health conditions such as HIV/AIDS, asthma, and chronic heart or lung diseases. In Saudi Arabia, seasonal influenza vaccination is recommended for internal pilgrims, particularly those at risk described above, and all healthcare workers in the Hajj premises.

Additionally, Saudi Tourism Authorities said a negative PCR test conducted no more than 72 hours before departure is mandatory.

General Precautions: Updating immunization against vaccine-preventable diseases in all travelers is strongly recommended. Preparation for international travel provides an opportunity to review the immunization status of travelers. Incompletely immunized travelers can be offered routine vaccinations recommended in national immunization schedules (these usually include diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, measles, and mumps), in addition to those needed for the specific travel (e.g., meningococcal vaccination for Hajj).

Hajj and Umrah Apps for 2022

The Saudi government announced various e-Services available through the online platform Muqeem: extending exit/re-entry visas for residents outside the Kingdom, renewing iqamas for residents outside the Kingdom. In addition, the General Authority of Civil Aviation clarified COVID-19 vaccination is a requirement.

As the Saudi Arabian Government is keen to preserve the health and safety of citizens and residents within its soil from the risk of the spread of novel SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus; The Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) developed the Tawakkalna App to support the government efforts aimed at countering the Covid-19 pandemic. Additionally, the Tawakkalna App facilitates the issuance of movement permits electronically during the curfew period for government and private sector employees, as well as individuals, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and all relevant authorities during the curfew, thus helping to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Kingdom.

The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah Tweeted on December 13, 2021, issue your Umrah permit in a few seconds following these easy steps on the Eatmarna application. The Eatmarna app is available on smartphones and enables pilgrims to plan their trips.

U.S. Government Hajj and Umrah Travel Information

The U.S. Department of State says the Saudi government has announced a series of entry restrictions, including religious travel.  Those who wish to travel to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah should review the U.S. CDC's recommendations on performing Hajj and Umrah.  As of September 19, 2021, the CDC does not recommend U.S. citizens perform Umrah. If you must travel to Saudi Arabia, make sure you are fully vaccinated before travel, says the CDC. The U.S. Mission in the Kingdom offers additional vaccination information.

The U.K. offers various travel information regarding Saudi Arabia, as does Canada.

The Embassy of The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the USA is located at 601 New Hampshire Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20037. The latest Hajj news is found at this link. The official Twitter account of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah is #MoHU.

Ministry Of Hajj and Umrah Vision​

T​hat the ritual of Hajj and Umrah and to visit the Masjid Al-Nabwi is to be codified with much ease and convenience in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility so that the pleasant and contented memories will be deeply remembered by the pilgrims, Umra performers, and visitors acting as an ambassador to the world by giving a positive image of the services offered by the Kingdom.

The Umrah pilgrimage can be undertaken at any time of the year and attracts millions worldwide. The List of Regulations of the Services Provided for the Mu'tamirs (Umrah performers) was issued in 1420H by virtue of the Council of Ministers Resolution No. 93, dated 10/6/1420H. It consists of 14 articles.

The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah launched the Umrah weekly indicator at the beginning of Hijri year 1440. Hajj 2022 is scheduled for July 7th to 12th, 2022.

Hajj and Umrah 2021 Vaccine News

January 19, 2022 - Local media reported the Malaysian Health Ministry and the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry will finalize their risk assessment and standard operating procedures for Malaysians intending to travel for umrah 2022.

January 17, 2022 - Indonesia's Religious Affairs Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas confirmed the government will not stop the departure of Umrah pilgrims that had embarked since January 8, 2022. However, the ministry will terminate the One Gate Policy regulation.

January 15, 2022 - The Religious Affairs Ministry has suspended the departures of Umrah pilgrims to give authorities time to evaluate the One Gate Policy scheme, and to monitor the Omicron variant transmission in Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.

January 11, 2022 - Pilgrims wishing to modify the schedules of their permits, allowing them to undertake Umrah are urged to do this before their permits take effect, a Saudi newspaper reported. The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has ruled out changes in the Umrah permits after their specified timings come into effect, according to Okaz.

January 8, 2022 - Pakistan media reported the Kingdom’s interior ministry confirmed people entering Mina, Muzdalaf, and Arfat without a permit will be fined 15,000 Saudi Riyals while individuals and companies transporting pilgrims without permits will face a fine of 50,000 Riyals. In 2021, Saudi Arabia had arrested several people for attempting to perform Hajj without a permit. 

January 1, 2022 - The Strait Times reported Umrah pilgrimages for Malaysians will be temporarily suspended beginning Jan. 8, 2022, while returning pilgrims will be subject to mandatory quarantine at designated centers from Jan 3, 2022.

December 28, 2021 - Local media reported Malaysia State Health, Science, Environment, and Green Technology Committee chairman Mohd Akmal Kamarudin said an individual tested positive for Omicron while undergoing quarantine at home. He said, adding that Umrah pilgrims who tested positive for the Omicron variant will be given a special digital tracking wristband. Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the ministry was monitoring the situation in Saudi Arabia closely following the surge and would step up the necessary measures.

December 26, 2021 - A couple who recently returned from performing the Umrah pilgrimage tested positive for the Omicron COVID-19 variant. The pair had left Malaysia for Saudi Arabia on Dec 4 and returned on Dec 16 via Kuala Lumpur International Airport, said Johor Health and Environment Committee chairman R Vidyananthan.

December 25, 2021 - The Malaysian Ministry of Health (MOH) reported via Twitter 45 new Omicron cases imported from abroad, including 30 travelers who returned from Saudi Arabia after performing their Umrah pilgrimage. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has now been added to the MOH's High-Risk list with travelers & returnees now required to wear a digital tracker when they arrive in KLIA.

December 22, 2021 - Sabah Covid-19 spokesperson Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said to the Strait Times that a positive index case had undergone Covid-19 polymerase chain reaction tests at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport upon his return from Umrah. The man continued his domestic flight to Sandakan and underwent compulsory quarantine at home.

December 20, 2021 - The government of Brunei will allow Bruneians to travel to Saudi Arabia in 2022 for the Haj and Umrah pilgrimage after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic.

December 14, 2021 - The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah confirmed children aged 12+ will be authorized to perform Umrah and prayers in the Holy Mosques and visit the Rawda in the Prophet's Mosque. The resolution includes Saudis, residents inside the Kingdom, GCC citizens, and visitors from abroad with various types of visas. Regarding the GCC citizens, the Ministry affirmed that they must register that they received the vaccine in the “Resident” platform before entering the Kingdom.

December 14, 2021 - SPA reported the Ministry of Health announced the registration of 65 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 82 recoveries in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during the past 24 hours. The ministry added that the number of critical cases reached 33.

December 10, 2021 - Arab News reported Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah (Saudi Minister of Hajj & Umrah) called for greater cooperation between private and public sectors to expand services to pilgrims visiting holy sites.

December 9, 2021 - The General Authority of Civil Aviation issued its instructions to all airlines operating in the Kingdom’s airports, regarding the suspension of flights coming from and to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and the updating of the institutional quarantine procedures approved for citizens coming to the Kingdom from the banned countries. A circular also stipulated the application of home quarantine to citizens coming from all countries from which entry is suspended for a period of (5) days, provided that the traveler performs a PCR examination on the first and the fifth day, regardless of the state of immunization.

December 9, 2021 - Local media in India reported Saudi Arabia is exempting Umrah pilgrims from India from the requirement of five-day quarantine on reaching the Kingdom.

December 7, 2021 - The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has announced it is now issuing Umrah visas for Pakistani pilgrims.

December 6, 2021 - Local media reported the Indonesian government will allow pilgrims to travel to Saudi Arabia for Umrah in 2021.

December 5, 2021 - The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has granted approval for entry of individuals vaccinated with the Sputnik V vaccine starting from January 1, 2022.

December 1, 2021 - Local media reported the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has announced that institutional quarantine is no more required for foreign Umrah pilgrims who took two doses of Covid-19 vaccines approved in Saudi Arabia. Fully vaccinated pilgrims can travel directly to the holy city of Makkah and start performing Umrah rites without the need for institutional quarantine, the ministry explained.

November 25, 2021 - Saudi Arabia media reported the Kingdom will allow direct entry of travelers and Umrah pilgrims from Pakistan, Indonesia, Pakistan, Brazil, Vietnam, Egypt, and India beginning December 2021.

November 19, 2021 - The Saudi Foreign Ministry confirmed permits for performing Umrah or lesser pilgrimage for overseas Muslims are limited to those aged from 18 to 50 years. And an endorsed vaccination certificate is required to obtain an electronic entry visa. Domestic pilgrims and worshippers must obtain similar permits and avoid escorting children in the Grand Mosque.

November 12, 2021 - Local media in India reported the CovisShield vaccine has been recognized as COVID-19 compliant by Saudi Arabia.

November 12, 2021 - Gulf-Times reported the Department of Hajj and Umrah of the Ministry of Endowments (Awqaf) and Islamic Affairs has launched a new online system for registering pilgrims, which allows offices to register each pilgrim and upload his data and the contract between the office and the pilgrim. The Department of Hajj and Umrah confirmed that the new system will enable the administration to review contracts between Hajj and Umrah offices and pilgrims in the event of any complaint, in addition to providing statistics on pilgrims from Qatar.

November 11, 2021 - Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Chairman of the Municipality and Planning Department of Ajman, inaugurated on 7th November 2021 the Abdullah bin Khalfan Al-Shamsi in the Emirate of Ajman. The mosque, built as per the cutting-edge specifications and standards and the modern construction style, is located behind Ajman Club. Awqaf provides the newly-built mosque with all services needed with a particular focus on the quality and application of the high standards adopted in mosques in terms of lighting, air-conditioning, and sound quality. It is worth mentioning that the mosque has a ladies’ prayer hall and other facilities at the disposition of worshippers, besides accommodations for the imam and muezzin.

November 9, 2021 - AhlulBayt News Agency reported the Leader’s Representative for Hajj and Pilgrimage Affairs said that negotiations have begun with Iraqi officials to relaunch a direct flight from Iran to holy cities in Iraq and Syria for Iranian pilgrims.

November 6, 2021 - Indonesia media reported: "We continue to carry out the process of negotiation, communication and diplomacy with the Saudi government," Director General of Hajj and Umrah at the Ministry of Religious Affairs, Hilman Latif, said while attending the inauguration of the Central Board of the Indonesian Hajj Brotherhood Association.

November 2, 2021 - According to the issued notification, the aspirants located in India are being informed that before filing the application form online, they should go through the provisional Haj guidelines for Hajj-2022 at the Haj Committee website www.hajcommittee.gov.in. The last date to submit the Haj application form is Nov 31, 2022.

November 1, 2021 - Local media sources announced Saudi Arabia would ban entry to Masjid al-Haram for children younger than 12 years old.

October 27, 2021 - According to the Saudi Ministry of Health statistics, 55 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in the Kingdom over the past 24 hours. Also, 3 new deaths have been reported; bringing the total deaths to 8,785 during the pandemic. The MOH advised everyone to contact 937-Service Center for any consultation and services, as well as knowing the latest developments of COVID-19.

October 27, 2021 - Travel industry players interviewed by CNA said that the highest demand for overseas travel presently seems to be for packages to perform Umrah in Saudi Arabia.

October 24, 2021 - The Saudi Gazette reported the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has canceled its earlier directive to impose a gap of 15 days between the performance of two Umrah pilgrimages, The Ministry stated that any pilgrim can now book an appointment to perform Umrah immediately after the expiry of an active Umrah permit through Eatmarna or Tawakkalna digital apps

October 19, 2021 - The Saudi Arabia Ministry of Health has reiterated its call for taking both doses of COVID-19 vaccine to prevent variants, calling on everyone to take the initiative and register on the "Sehhaty" App or "Twakkalna" App to get the vaccine.

October 17, 2021 - The Grand Mosque in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, has returned to operating at full capacity. Floor markings that guide people to social distance in and around the Grand Mosque have been removed.

October 15, 2021 - Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz named Tawfiq Al Rabiah as the new Minister for Hajj and Umrah. Mr. Al Rabiah had served as health minister since 2016 and oversaw the Kingdom's response to the coronavirus pandemic. He led the Ministry of Commerce and Industry from 2011 to 2016.

October 12, 2021 - NST reported the Association of Umrah and Haj Travel Agents president Datuk Seri Razali Mohd Sham confirmed individuals who have been vaccinated with the Sinovac CoronaVac COVID-19 vaccine are allowed to perform the Umrah in Saudi Arabia on the condition that they get a third dose of the vaccine.

October 9, 2021 - The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said that based on the keenness of the government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques on the health of Umrah performers, worshippers, and visitors of the Grand Holy Mosque and the Prophet's Holy Mosque and per the effective health instructions of the Health Ministry regarding the implementation of preventive protocols to prevent infection with the coronavirus, it was decided that starting October 10, 2021, the issuance of permits to perform Umrah and prayers in the Grand Mosque and to visit the Prophet's Mosque will be exclusive to only vaccinated people who received two doses of the KSA's approved Coronavirus vaccine, and the cases excluded from taking the vaccine as indicated in the Tawakalna app.

October 7, 2021 - Local media reported Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister, Prince Faisal Bin Farhan launched an application for self-registration of biometrics for Hajj and Umrah pilgrims via smartphones. The new app will enable aspiring Hajj and Umrah visas to apply without issuing visas online from their respective countries.

October 5, 2021 - The Daily Star based in Bangladesh reported State Minister for Religious Affairs, Md Faridul Haque Khan, said amid the Covid-19 pandemic, pilgrims might have to perform Hajj using various apps.

October 3, 2021 - Pakistan media reported Federal Minister for Religious and Minority Affairs Noorul Haq Qadri indicated the government would not increase Hajj, Umrah expenses and continue its efforts to ensure the best possible facilities to the people.

October 3, 2021 - Local media in Malaysia reported Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Ahmad Marzuk Shaary said an announcement in November 2021 would emphasize procedures to perform Umrah.

September 30, 2021 - MyHotels® announced it had received final approval from the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah in Saudi Arabia to serve as an official Umrah OTA. MyHotels is a Saudi online travel agency. 

September 28, 2021 - Local media reported Muslims in Malaysia might be able to perform Umrah in the near future, according to Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Religious Affairs), Idris Ahmad.

September 21, 2021 - The Malaysian Reserve reported the cost for Hajj 2022 is expected to increase due to the inflation rate and the development of new standard operating procedures (SOP) following the COVID-19 pandemic. Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Office (Religious Affairs) Ahmad Marzuk Shaary indicated the additional cost for Covid-19 tests, vaccination, transportation that requires physical distance, accommodation, and tents for pilgrims.

September 18, 2021 - According to local media, the Saudi Ministry of Haj and Umrah revealed that more than 12,000 visas had been issued since the Kingdom began welcoming pilgrims from other countries on August 10, 2021.

September 18, 2021 - The Gulf News reported 10 million pilgrims had performed Umrah since October 2020.

September 10, 2021 - Local media reported since Saudi Arabia lifted its travel ban on the UAE, travel agents in Dubai and other emirates say they have received numerous inquiries about traveling for the Umrah pilgrimage.

September 7, 2021 - The Malaysian Reserve reported Malaysian Bumiputera Association of Tour and Travel Agents president Harun KC Ahmmu said '"From the first of Muharram, which is middle of August, organizations in Malaysia were advised to engage with Saudi companies to get the contract signed and once that is done, then Malaysian companies are ready to manage the umrah group and should be able to update future pilgrims on packages and rates.'

September 1, 2021 - The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah revealed that purchasing tickets for the transportation service for those who obtained permits for performing Umrah and offering prayer at the Grand Mosque is optional. "The ticket can be purchased either through the Eatmarna application directly or purchase upon arrival at the assembly point. The purchase from the assembly point can be made through ATM cards or paying cash," the Ministry said.

August 25, 2021 - Alhaji Zikrullah Kunle Hassan, Chairman of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), established a standing committee on Umrah in the NAHCON headquarters. The 15 man committee is chaired by NAHCON's Commissioner of Operations, Inspectorate, and Licensing, Alhaji  Abdullahi  Magaji Hardawa. The Standing Committee's mandate includes constant evaluation of quality service delivery to pilgrims, proposing policy changes to be in tune with existing realities, superintending on all Umrah-related matters, and other incidental issues.

August 19, 2021 - The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Ministry of Health data portal confirmed 33,555,330 Total Vaccine Doses Administered and 8,458 COVID-19 related fatalities during the pandemic.

August 18, 2021 - The Ministry of Health has underlined that the second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine is important for the sustainability of immunity and protection against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus mutations, calling on all people to take the two doses of the vaccine to raise protection against severe infection with the mutations.

August 15, 2021 - The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Ministry of Health announced a new at-home COVID-19 vaccination service for those 70 years and older.

August 12, 2021 - The General Entertainment Authority has issued a new set of guidelines and requirements for the entry of children to entertainment events as part of its role in organizing recreational events in accordance with the necessary COVID-19 precautionary measures and after closely coordinating with the Public Health Authority (SaudiCDC). As per the new guidelines, children under the age of 12 are exempt from the requirements of having been fully vaccinated or recovered from the virus infection and can attend outdoor entertainment events. At the same time, GEA's new regulation is contingent on the conditions that fully vaccinated guardians accompany the children, they do not show any influenza-like symptoms (fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat), and their status on the Tawakkalna App shows "Uninfected" or "Not Exposed."

August 10, 2021 - The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Ministry of Health announced that 864 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 had been reported in the Kingdom, bringing the total number to 535,176, including 10,829 active cases.
Of these, there are 1,396 critical cases, while the health condition of the rest is stable, the statement said. It added that 12 new deaths had been reported, putting the tally of fatalities at 8,357. Meanwhile, as many as 451 cases have recovered, raising the recoveries toll to 515,990.

August 8, 2021 - The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah announced the start of receiving Umrah performers of citizens and residents, in addition to gradually receiving Umrah requests from various countries of the world, starting from August 9th, to perform the rituals of Umrah, visit and pray in the Grand Mosque and the Prophet's Mosque, with a capacity of up to 60,000 Umrah performers divided into 8 operating periods, increasing the overall capacity to two million per month, with the condition that the issuance of permits will be through the "Etamarna and Tawakalna" applications, amid an integrated system of services and preventive measures, taken by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the safety and health of those wishing to perform the rituals of Umrah and visit. The Deputy Minister of Hajj and Umrah, Dr. Abdulfattah bin Sulaiman Mashat said that the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has worked in coordination with other concerned authorities before the start of the Umrah season 2021/2022 to develop executive mechanisms and create a safe and accessible environment for the Umrah performers throughout their journey to achieve security, safety, and human health.

July 27, 2021 - A.A. reported Deputy Minister of Hajj Affairs, Hisham Saeed, said in televised statements that Umrah pilgrims coming from abroad must be vaccinated by one of the Saudi-approved COVID-19 vaccines.

July 15, 2021 - Arab News reported during a briefing at the Unified Security Operations Center (911) in Makkah, Commander of Hajj Security Forces Maj. Gen. Zayed bin Abdulrahman Al-Tuwayan said people would only be able to move between the sites on buses provided for the purpose. Furthermore, a tight security cordon is in place around Makkah and its holy sites to prevent unauthorized people from entering the city during Hajj.

July 8, 2021 - Electronic applications for pilgrims planning to perform Hajj 2021 were completed, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah announced, adding that as many as 60,000 multinational eligible candidates representing 150 countries from inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have been selected since the start of the process on the 3rd of Dhul-Qa'dah 1442 H.

July 8, 2021 - "There will be an escort for every 20 pilgrims, acting as a health leader to offer guidance and verify the implementation of precautionary measures during all movements of the pilgrims," a spokesman for the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, Hesham Saeed, said. He told Saudi state television Al Ekhbariya that 25 tracks have been allocated in the courtyard of the Grand Mosque in Mecca to circumambulate the Holy Kaaba during the Hajj.

July 5, 2021 - The Director of Public Security and Chairman of the Hajj Security Committee, Lieutenant-General Khalid bin Qaraar Al-Harbi chaired today's third meeting at the Public Security headquarters in Jeddah. During the meeting, the Committee reviewed the implementation of the approved security plans for the Hajj 2021 season, the preparations of the security and military sectors. The Committee also discussed several topics on its agenda and took relevant recommendations. According to the plan, a fine of 10,000 Saudi Riyals (2,666 U.S. dollars) will be imposed on anyone who attempts to enter the ritual sites without permission.

July 4, 2021 - The Deputy Minister of Hajj and Umrah, Dr. Abdelfattah bin Suleiman Mashat inaugurated the new version of the Coordination Council for Institutions and Companies Serving Domestic Pilgrims website https://mutahed.org.

On Wednesday, July 1, 2021 - Local news reported that Saudi Arabia's General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques launched its operational plan for this year's Hajj season. Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, president of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, said the authority is working to put in place all possible health precautions while also ensuring that the Hajj rituals can take place, the experience is enriched, and proper hospitality is provided in line with the Kingdom's Vision 2030.

July 1, 2021 - The U.S. CDC issued a Level 3 Travel Alert stating: The CDC recommends that Americans already in Saudi Arabia not make the pilgrimage. Mass gatherings, such as Hajj, can increase the risk of getting and spreading COVID-19 because it can be hard to practice physical distancing. In addition, even fully vaccinated people may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants.'

June 30, 2021 - Jazan Health Affairs has launched 4 expanded COVID-19 testing stations to serve all citizens and residents. According to the Affairs, the stations are available at Al-Karbus Healthcare Center, 04:pm to 11:00 pm, South Damad Healthcare Center, Haqu Faifa Healthcare Center, and Alsalma Healthcare Center. In addition, it pointed out that an appointment is required via the "Sehhaty" app.

June 29, 2021 - The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Ministry of Health (MOH) stated that protection against COVID-19 complications reaches more than 90%, Allah Willing, by taking the vaccine, calling on everyone to take the initiative to register to obtain the vaccine to maintain the health and safety of all society members. According to MOH's latest statistics, 1,567 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in the Kingdom over the past 24 hours.

June 28, 2021 - Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Health announced that 1,318 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 had been reported in the Kingdom, and 14 new deaths have been reported.

June 26, 2021 - Deputy Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr. Abdul-Fattah Mashat said in a news article 'that issuance of Hajj permit would facilitate the person to take the second dose of vaccine against coronavirus.' "When the Hajj permit came after completing all the procedures, the selected pilgrim, who has not completed the vaccination with two doses, will visit one of the coronavirus vaccines centers to receive the vaccine," he said while attending a program of Al-Ekbharia channel.

June 25, 2021 - The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia screening process for Hajj applicants started on Friday, the Saudi Press Agency reported. Dr. Abdulfattah bin Sulaiman Mashat, the deputy minister of Hajj and Umrah, explained that the sorting operation was divided into several categories. The first category of people who met the conditions for performing Hajj also received text messages on Friday to access the Ministry's electronic portal and complete the registration process.

June 18, 2021 - Local media reported the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah confirmed that no one would be allowed to perform Hajj without a smart card and a documented official permit.

June 16, 2021 - The Saudi General Authority on Civil Aviation announced that beginning June 16, 2021, all airlines must ensure that all non-Saudi citizen passengers enter their immunization data into the Saudi vaccination registration system "Muqeem" before arrival into Saudi Arabia.  

June 15, 2021 - The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah reported 450,000 applications were received within 24 hours of opening. Male registrations made up 60 percent and females 40 percent of the total applications.

June 12, 2021 - The Council of Senior Scholars has voiced support for the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah's decision to limit this year's Hajj to 60,000 citizens and residents inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia due to the COVID-19 pandemic, citing the move's contributions to saving lives.

June 3, 2021 - Indonesia announced the cancelation of Hajj 2021 amid concerns over COVID-19. "Due to the pandemic and for the safety of the pilgrims, the government has decided that this year it won't allow Indonesian pilgrims to go again," the minister of religious affairs, Yaqut Cholil Qoumas, said in a statement reported by Aljazeera.

May 26, 2021 - Saudi Arabian authorities expounded terms and conditions on Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca in the current year in 2021, stating that Hajj pilgrimage would be performed by fully observing health protocols and guidelines.

May 25, 2021 - Saudi health ministry stated that they are allowing overseas Hajj pilgrims for the annual event in July, but it will be smaller than pre-pandemic time. 45,000 pilgrims from outside the country will be allocated, and 15,000 from inside the Kingdom likely to be allowed, the health ministry said.

May 22, 2021 - The Saudi Ministry of Health released a new document detailing Hajj 2021 Health Protocols.

April 16, 2021 - The Times of India quoted Hajj Committee CEO Maqsood Ahmed Khan as saying, "It is informed that as per health minister of Saudi Arabia and an email from consulate-general of India, Jeddah, pilgrims visiting the kingdom need to get two doses of the (COVID-19) vaccine before departure for Saudi Arabia."

April 11, 2021 - Saudi Arabia's Supreme Court called on all Muslims throughout the Kingdom to sight the crescent of the holy month of Ramadan on Sunday evening, Sha'ban 29, 1442 AH.

April 10, 2021 - The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia confirmed only vaccinated, or immune worshippers will be allowed to enter the Prophet's Mosque in Madinah and that pilgrims who perform Umrah without a permit during Ramadan will be fined SR10,000 ($2,666) in a bid to prevent the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

April 5, 2021 - Arab News reported pilgrims and worshippers vaccinated against COVID-19 would be allowed into the Grand Mosque in Makkah, Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Hajj, and Umrah confirmed today.

April 3, 2021 - The Deputy Minister of Hajj and Umrah, Dr. Abdel Fattah Bin Sulaiman Mashat, revealed Friday the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah had detected multiple cases of Umrah pilgrims and worshipers who flocked to the reception centers for pilgrims at the Grand Mosque in Makkah without the compulsory, valid permits with the predetermined time mentioned, in line with the regulations, via the Eatamarna app.

According to the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, April 1, 2021 - Pilgrims wishing to perform Umrah during Ramadan this year will not have to be vaccinated against COVID-19. However, the Ministry earlier this week issued a circular that requires sectors operating in Hajj and Umrah-related services to vaccinate their entire staff before Ramadan starts on April 12. Workers not vaccinated must provide proof of a negative PCR test result, renewed every seven days at the facility's expense.

March 23, 2021 - The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has clarified that Umrah permits will not be issued for domestic pilgrims above 70 irrespective of their coronavirus vaccination status. "Citizens and expatriates in the Kingdom can apply for Umrah permits if their age is between 18 and 70 as per the Ministry of Health's instructions. It is also not allowed to add children as companions, whereas the permit holder can add their mother as a companion," the Ministry said. The Ministry also revealed that taking coronavirus vaccination is not a prerequisite to obtaining Umrah permits. 

March 20, 2021 - The Saudi Gazette reported that the Saudi Ministry of Health is intending to make it mandatory for all pilgrims coming from abroad to obtain two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the second dose of the vaccine should be taken at least one week before arrival in Saudi Arabia.

March 3, 2021 - Saudi Arabia's health ministry, in a statement, said that only those people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 would be allowed to attend the Hajj this year.

Hajj and Umrah Overview

Hajj and Umrah are religious pilgrimages to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Islamic religious doctrine dictates that every non-disabled adult Muslim who can afford to do so is obligated to make Hajj at least once in their lifetime. Hajj takes place from the 8th through the 12th day of the Islamic year's last month (Dhul Hijah). The timing of Hajj (based on the lunar Islamic calendar) varies concerning the Gregorian calendar, occurring about 11 days earlier each successive year.

Muslims may perform Umrah, the "minor pilgrimage," any time of the year; unlike Hajj, Umrah is not compulsory, says the UK NHS.