Britons travelling to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj should prepare carefully and follow travel safety advice
The Foreign Office is urging Hajj pilgrims to get comprehensive travel insurance and essential vaccinations before embarking on their journey:
- This year it is compulsory for travellers to the Hajj to have a Meningococcal Meningitis vaccination certificate in order to obtain a Hajj visa - make sure that you have been vaccinated with the quadrivalent meningococcal vaccine (ACWY)
- We strongly recommends that you have a seasonal influenza vaccination prior to embarking on your trip
- You should take out fully comprehensive travel insurance in advance and travel with a reputable tour operator.
- Check the Foreign Office travel advice for the latest on the situation in Saudi Arabia
In addition to the requirements from the Saudi government, the Foreign Office recommends that all pilgrims follow our travellers’ checklist.
The Foreign Office will provide the full range of consular services and will be sending the British Hajj Delegation - a team of volunteers from the British Muslim community, including consular staff - to Saudi Arabia during the Hajj.
The British Hajj Delegation will be located at the Elaf Al Khalil Hotel, Makkah. You can find contact details and a travellers’ checklist in our travel advice for Hajj pilgrims.
Cabinet Minister, Baroness Warsi, said: “It is important that British Muslims going on the Hajj this year check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s travel advice and the requirements set out by the Saudi government. Most pilgrims will have a trouble free trip but, given the sheer numbers of people due to be present, people should take sensible precautions and plan carefully before they travel.”
Consular Minister Jeremy Browne said “We are providing a Consular team on the ground in Saudi Arabia to offer assistance, but British pilgrims going on the Hajj need to take responsibility for their own pre-travel preparations and ensure they have a valid vaccination certificate for Meningococcal Meningitis and also consider having a flu vaccination.
We will be updating our Travel Advice on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s website on an ongoing basis and all travellers should ensure they check it regularly.”
The Saudi Government has advised that they have ample capability and resources to provide full medical facilities this year which British Hajjis will be able to use.
A spokesperson for the Saudi Embassy in the UK said: “The Embassy of Saudi Arabia appreciates the support provided to British pilgrims by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office through the Hajj delegation and hopes that all British pilgrims will observe the travel advice published by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.”