Health requirements for Umrah and Hajj (1431H) season announced

October 5, 2010

The Ministry of Health has issued health requirements for Umrah and Hajj performers for the current year (1431H) and has instructed Saudi embassies and missions abroad to abide by all these requirements for the issuance of Umrah and Hajj visas. In a statement, Ministry of Health spokesman Dr. Khalid bin Mohammed Marghalani noted that the Ministry has been following the development of epidemic diseases, adding that the health requirements this year focus on several areas, including yellow fever, cerebrospinal meningitis fever, polio, and seasonal influenza. According to the latest regulations:

Hajj and Umrah performers coming from countries affected by yellow fever are requested to submit a valid vaccination certificate, according to International Health Regulations. The certificate must state that the holder was vaccinated against yellow fever between 10 years and 10 days before their arrival in the Kingdom. Aircrafts, ships and other means of transportation coming from countries affected by yellow fever are requested to submit a valid certificate certifying the extermination of insects onboard, according to International Health Regulations.

Countries affected by yellow fever are: Angola, Benin, Sudan, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Cameroon, Burundi, Chad, Uganda, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Togo, Kenya, Liberia, Sao Tome and Principe, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Mali, Ecuador, French Guyana, Guyana, Brazil, Bolivia, Suriname, Peru, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, Colombia, Argentina and Paraguay.

Hajj and Umrah performers or seasonal workers in Hajj areas coming from certain countries must have a valid certificate verifying their vaccination against meningococcal meningitis between 3 years and 10 days before coming to the Kingdom. Health authorities in these countries must ensure that children 2 years and older and adults are vaccinated with ACYW135. Saudi health authorities will give preventive doses (one dose = 500 mg of Ciprofloxacin) at ports in order to reduce the spread of the disease.

The affected countries include: Sudan, Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Cote d’Ivoire, Niger, Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Eritrea, Gambia, Senegal, and Central Africa.

Arrivals from countries affected by poliomyelitis are requested to vaccinate children under 15 years of age with the oral polio vaccine at least 6 weeks before their travel date. They will receive another dose upon their arrival in the Kingdom.

The affected countries are: Uganda, Kenya, Benin, Angola, Togo, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali, Central African Republic, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, Ethiopia, and Nepal.

People who suffer from chronic diseases (heart disease, kidney disease, respiratory disease, neural disease and diabetes), immunodeficiency from birth, HIV, and metabolic diseases, in addition to pregnant women and overweight people, should receive seasonal flu vaccinations.

Hajj and Umrah performers are not allowed to bring with them any kind of foodstuffs from their countries, unless if it is canned, sealed, or in easily opened containers for checking ingredients and in sufficient quantities for traveling by road.

In the eventuality of any health emergency or the spread of diseases subjected to International Health Regulations in Hajj and Umrah performers’ countries, health authorities in the Kingdom may take any additional precautions toward the arrivals from these countries in coordination with the International Health Organization in a timely manner in order to avoid the spreading of infections among the pilgrims and Umrah performers, or the transfer to their countries.