Ahead of the Hajj and the Umrah pilgrimages, the Ministry of Health of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has published its requirements and recommendations for pilgrims and seasonal workers to avoid the spread of disease.
It has warned that all travellers arriving from countries or areas at risk of yellow fever transmission must present a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate. In addition, travellers arriving for Umrah, Hajj or for seasonal work in Hajj zones are required to submit a valid vaccination certificate with a quadrivalent meningococcal vaccine administered at least 10 days prior to the planned arrival to Saudi Arabia.
Another requirement is for travellers from areas with active poliovirus transmission and from countries at risk of polio reintroduction to submit a valid polio vaccination certificate. Seasonal influenza is another concern and all travellers to Saudi Arabia should be vaccinated against the infection.
To prevent the spread of respiratory infections, the Ministry of Health states that travellers should comply with the following: wash hands with soap and water or a disinfectant, especially after coughing and sneezing, after using toilets, before handling and consuming food, and after touching animals; use disposable tissues when coughing or sneezing and dispose of used tissues in a wastebasket; wear face masks when in crowded places; avoid contact with those who appear ill and avoid sharing their personal belongings; avoid contact with camels and avoid drinking unpasteurized milk or eating raw meat or animal products that have not been thoroughly cooked.