The FCO is urging British Muslims who will be participating in the Hajj this year to ensure they have checked the up-to-date travel advice before embarking on their trip.
This year, a Meningococcal Meningitis vaccination certificate is a compulsory visa requirement for the estimated 25,000 British Muslims expected to travel to the Hajj.
It is also advises that pilgrims are vaccinated against Seasonal Influenza before they leave for the Hajj. As with all travel, it is recommended that full comprehensive travel insurance is taken out.
UK Government Cabinet Minister, Baroness Warsi, warns pilgrims to be careful: “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, emphasised the importance of being responsible: “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.”