Guidance for Hajj and Umrah Pilgrims


Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, is the largest gathering of its kind in the world, with over two million Muslims attending.

Hajj takes place between the eight and twelfth day of the last month of the Islamic calendar. Umrah, the “minor” or “lesser” pilgrimage to Mecca, can be undertaken at any time of year.

In advance of travelling to Hajj or Umrah, pilgrims from Ireland are required to have received the quadrivalent meningococcal vaccine (ACW135Y) within the last three years and should ensure that they are up to date on their other immunisations.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) of Saudi Arabia has issued the following requirements and recommendations to obtain entry visas for 2017/1438H-Hajj and Umrah seasons:

Health Requirements for Travellers to Saudi Arabia for Pilgrimage to Makkah (2017/1438H Hajj)

Hajj and Umrah travellers with pre-existing medical conditions should be advised to consult a healthcare provider to review the risk before deciding to make the pilgrimage and identify a trusted healthcare facility prior to travel in the case of a health emergency during their stay. Travellers who require medical care should minimise contact with other sick people in the facility.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) of Saudi Arabia has updated advice for:

The European Centre Disease Prevention and Control has issued a Rapid Risk Assessment on public health risks related to communicable diseases during the Hajj 2017, Saudi Arabia, 30 August – 4 September 2017.

Last updated: 11 August 2017


Epi Insight Articles

Vaccination recommendations for Saudi Arabia - Hajj 2010 - Epi Insight, Volume 11, Issue 11, November 2010

Hajj pilgrims must get vaccinated against influenza - Epi Insight, Volume 10, Issue 10, October 2009

Last updated: 24 February 2015