Health Professionals

Clinical Updates

17 July 2013

Advice for pilgrims: Hajj and Umrah 1434 (2013)

On 12 July 2013 the KSA Ministry of Health (MOH) issued this year’s specific requirements for entry to the Hajj and Umrah [1]. Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Makkah (Mecca) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is estimated to fall between 13 and 15 October 2013 [2].

From September 2012 to date, a small number of cases of a respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus infection (MERS-CoV) have been identified in a number of countries in the Middle East, including KSA [3]. The risk of MERS-CoV to UK residents travelling to the Middle East is very low. [4]. However, the Ministry of Health, KSA recommends that the following groups postpone the performance of the Hajj and Umrah this year for their own safety:

  •  the elderly (above 65 years of age)
  • those with chronic diseases (e.g. heart, kidney or respiratory disease, diabetes), immune deficiency, (congenital and acquired), malignancy and terminal illnesses
  • pregnant women and children (under 12 years)

For further detailed information see the NaTHNaC Hajj and Umrah advice to pilgrims Health Information Sheet.

Further updates will be added as they become available.



1. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Ministry of Health. Health Regulations for travellers to Saudi Arabia for Umrah & Pilgrimage (Hajj)-1434 (2013). July 2013. [Accessed 17 July, 2013]. Available at:

2. The Council of British Hajjis. Hajj dates 2013. [Accessed 17 July, 2013]. Available at:

3. World Health Organization. Global Alert and Response (GAR): Disease Outbreak News (DON). 13 July 2013. [Accessed 17 July, 2013]. Available at:

4. Public Health England. Risk Assessment Novel Coronavirus 2012. [Accessed 17 July, 2013]. Available at:





Further reading

Pilgrimage (Hajj/Umrah). In: Field VK, Ford L, Hill DR (eds). Health information for overseas travel. National Travel Health Network and Centre, London, UK, 2010.