Hajj and Umrah Vaccination Requirements For 2021

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Last reviewed
April 5, 2021

Hajj and Umrah Vaccination Requirements For 2021

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Ministry of Health has established a number of vaccination requirements that visitors must meet to obtain an Entry Visa for Hajj and Umrah in 2021.

Hajj and Umrah News

April 5, 2021 - Arab News reported pilgrims and worshippers vaccinated against COVID-19 will 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.

April 1, 2021 - Pilgrims wishing to perform Umrah during Ramadan this year will not have to be vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah. 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 the age of 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 his/her 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 will be allowed to attend the Hajj this year.

Hajj and Umrah 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

The Hajj and Umrah health regulations include, but are not limited to the following:

Yellow Fever:  In accordance with 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 at most 10 years before arrival at the 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 the purpose of Umrah or pilgrimage (Hajj) or for seasonal work are required to submit a certificate of vaccination 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 prior to 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 able-bodied adult Muslim who can afford to do so is obligated to make Hajj at least once in his or her 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 with respect to 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.