General Travel News

Visitors need not take swine flu shots anymore

The Ministry of Health will not make it imperative for all pilgrims and visitors to Saudi Arabia to be vaccinated against swine flu during the Haj and Umrah seasons.


"This is no longer required for pilgrims or visitors," undersecretary of the ministry Dr. Ziyad Mimish said on Tuesday.


He recalled that the ministry had recommended to the Ministry of Haj last year that Haj and Umrah visas should only be granted after pilgrims showed proof of being vaccinated against swine flu and that visitors under 12 and above 60 as well as pregnant women should not be allowed to perform the pilgrimage. "There is no change in other health conditions, including the rule that pilgrims should be vaccinated against yellow fever and meningitis," he said.


The Haj ministry issues its annual Haj instructions based on the Health Ministry's recommendations.


Meanwhile, the director of the Haj Ministry's department of domestic pilgrims, Ibrahim Al-Jabri, said about 170,000 domestic and GCC pilgrims will be able to use the Makkah metro to travel between the holy sites of Makkah, Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah.

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