Hajj and Umrah Vaccination Requirements For 2021

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Last reviewed
July 15, 2021

Hajj and Umrah Vaccine Requirements For 2021

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Ministry of Health has established several vaccine requirements that visitors must meet to obtain an Entry Visa for Hajj and Umrah in 2021. As of July 5, 2021, there were eighteen COVID-19 vaccines in use globally.

The Government of Saudi Arabia approved the following COVID-19 vaccines when visiting Saudi Arabia: two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, two doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, two doses of the Moderna vaccine, or one dose of the Jansen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine, reported the U.S. Department of State.

And various Hajj 2021 related vaccines are listed on this Vax-Before-Travel vaccine webpage.

The Saudi government announced that the following e-Services are now available through the online platform Muqeem: extending exit/re-entry visas for residents outside the Kingdom, renewing iqamas for residents outside the Kingdom.

Hajj and Umrah Vaccine News

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 will 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 for the ritual circumambulation of 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.

July 1, 2021 - Local news reported Saudi Arabia’s General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques on Wednesday 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 Vaccine Mobile Apps for 2021

The Eatmarna app is available on smartphones and enables pilgrims to plan their trips. And person’s COVID-19 vaccination status will need to be registered on Saudi Arabia’s COVID-19 app, Tawakkalna (Covid-19 KSA).

Hajj and Umrah Vaccination Requirements For 2021

Hajj and Umrah are religious pilgrimages to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, says the U.S. CDC. The Hajj and Umrah health regulations include, but are not limited to the following:

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 10 days and 10 years before arrival border. In case of the absence of such a certificate, the individual will be placed under strict surveillance for 6 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 3 years and no less than 10 days before arrival in Saudi Arabia.

Polio:  All travelers arriving from polio-endemic countries and re-established transmission countries should receive 1 dose of oral polio vaccine (regardless of age and vaccination status). Proof of polio vaccination at least 6 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 1 dose of OPV at border points on arrival in Saudi Arabia. The same 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 1 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 5 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.

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 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.