SAUDI ARABIA – The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has announced the health requirements and guidelines for the upcoming Hajj pilgrimage. 

This year, pilgrims will not be required to present a COVID-19 vaccination certificate, which was mandatory the previous year. 

The authorities have lifted many restrictions for the 2024 Hajj season, allowing the Hajj to return to its full capacity.

The Ministry of Health in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has asked pilgrims to obtain a mandatory Hajj permit via the Nusuk platform. 

However, to ensure the health and safety of pilgrims, the authorities have specified that all pilgrims must meet certain vaccination criteria.

Pilgrims must have received vaccinations, including meningococcal meningitis, polio, and yellow fever. 

The meningococcal meningitis vaccine must be administered more than 10 days before arrival, while the polio vaccine must be obtained within 6 weeks before departure. Yellow fever vaccination is mandatory for travelers above the age of 9 months.

The Ministry of Health of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia further reported that previous observations have shown that infectious diseases may easily spread due to the large number of people from many different countries attending the Hajj.

In addition, between 10 to 17 April 2024, the Ministry of Health of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia reported three cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus, including one death, to the World Health Organization (WHO). All cases were from Riyadh, aged between 50 and 60, with underlying health conditions.

Furthermore, it has been emphasized that in addition to vaccinations required and/or recommended by the Hajj Health Requirements page, individuals should ensure they are up to date with all routine vaccinations before they go, especially the measles (MMR vaccine). 

A travel doctor may recommend receiving additional vaccinations, such as the hepatitis A vaccine, to help reduce the risk of illness.

In addition to these vaccinations, pilgrims must also meet certain general conditions. They must have a valid passport through at least the end of Dhu Al Hijjah 1445 (June 7, 2024) and be 12 years old. 

The Hajj pilgrimage is one of the most significant events in the Islamic calendar. Millions of Muslims from around the world make the journey to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, to perform the rituals of the Hajj. 

The pilgrimage is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many Muslims, and it is considered a sacred duty for those who are physically and financially able to make the journey

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