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Letter from Saudi Ambassador

In reference to your letter on 16 January concerning the Meningitis vaccination requirements for all Haj Pilgrims, many thanks for your concern and for raising awareness among British pilgrims over this important issue.

The Saudi Arabian Government takes the safety of pilgrims very seriously and for this reason it is a requirement that before pilgrims can perform Haj their tour operators must present valid vaccination certificates for each pilgrim to the consulate at the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia before any visas are issued.

Additionally, Saudi Arabian Airlines operates a strict policy at UK airports where it checks both the passport and vaccination certificate of each pilgrim before they are allowed to board. A further check is also undertaken at the Haj terminal at King Abdul Aziz Airport as each pilgrim arrives. Anyone found not to have a certificate is then automatically vaccinated by staff from the Ministry of Health. This procedure operates to ensure that the Haj pilgrimage can operate with the greatest level of safety for all those concerned.

I wish you continued success in your work and again thank you for your concern.

With best regards,

Mohammed bin Nawaf Al-Saud

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