Hajj 2024

Level 1 - Practise health precautions (more details)

Original publication date: March 26, 2024

Updated: March 26, 2024

Current situation

The Hajj is an annual pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is one of the largest annual mass gatherings in the world, with approximately two million participants every year. The Hajj takes place from the 8th to the 13th day of the last month of the Islamic calendar. In 2024, the pilgrimage will take place June 14-19.
Large crowds (mass gatherings) can increase your risk of getting sick or injured. Pilgrims performing the Hajj may be at higher risk of exposure to some infectious diseases, such as COVID-19, measles, meningococcal meningitis, and influenza.
Each year, the Ministry of Health of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia issues health requirements and guidelines for those wishing to participate in Hajj.
Hajj Health Requirements
Make sure you meet all requirements for travel to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and participation in Hajj before leaving Canada.
Before travelling, review the travel health notices currently applied to Saudi Arabia.
Global Measles Notice
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in Saudi Arabia
COVID-19 and International Travel
Learn more:
 Saudi Arabia travel advice
Mass gatherings (large-scale events)


Before your trip

Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.

  • Schedule a detailed medical evaluation and a review of your medications.
  • Ensure you take an adequate supply of your medications with you.
  •  Make sure that your routine vaccinations and adult boosters are up-to-date.
    • Ensure you and your family have received your recommended measles vaccinations, as measles cases are increasing in many places around the world. 
  • The seasonal flu and COVID-19 vaccines are strongly recommended for all pilgrims.
Review the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Health’s health requirements and recommendations for Hajj. Make sure you can provide proof of all required vaccinations.
Health requirements and recommendations for travellers to Hajj (external)
Check the Saudi Arabia travel advice and advisories page.
Saudi Arabia travel advice
Pack a travel health kit and consider purchasing travel insurance.
Travel health kit
Travel insurance
Learn more:
Tips for healthy travel 
Advice for older travellers

During your trip

Be prepared for emergencies

  • The risk of accidental injury increases in large crowds.
  • Locate the exit routes and medical facilities.
  •  Avoid densely congested areas with limited emergency exits.

Carry medical identification for existing medical conditions.

Consider wearing a well-fitting mask or respirator
  • Wearing a mask can help protect yourself and others from getting or spreading infectious respiratory diseases, such as measles and COVID-19. 
  • This is especially important when you’re around many people. 
Respiratory infectious diseases: What personal protective measures to use
Cover your coughs and sneezes
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow, not your hand. 
  • Throw away used tissues as soon as possible, preferably in a lined waste container.
Clean your hands regularly
  •  Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
    • Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer with you when you travel.
    • If your hands are visibly dirty, you should wash them with soap and water instead of using hand sanitizer.
Hand washing and staying healthy
Use only new razors for shaving
  • Choose a barber who uses disposable, single-use blades.
Practise safe food and water precautions
  • The most common illnesses among travellers are caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites or viruses. 
Eat and drink safely abroad
Protect yourself from Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) 
  • Avoid close contact with camels.
  • Avoid raw or undercooked (rare) camel meat. Only eat foods that are well cooked and served hot.
  • Avoid unpasteurized dairy products such as raw camel milk.
  • Avoid drinking camel urine (a practice associated with medicinal purposes in certain regions).
Prevention of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)
Avoid close contact with animals
  • If you must visit a farm or market, make sure you clean your hands before and after contact with animals. 
  • Avoid contact with animals that appear to be sick.
Protect yourself from insect bites at all times
  • Insects can carry and spread diseases, such as malaria, dengue, and chikungunya.
Insect bite and pest prevention
Follow sun and heat safety tips 
  • Heat-related illnesses and dehydration are common during the Hajj.
  • Plan activities to avoid peak heat times and seek shade where possible.
  • Make sure to stay hydrated and eat regularly
Sun and heat safety tips for travellers
Drive with caution
  • The leading cause of death among international travellers is traffic accidents.
  • Expect traffic congestion and road closures.
  • Avoid driving on unfamiliar and/or rural roads, especially at night.
Abide by local laws
Visit the Government of Canada's Travel Advice and Advisories page for the most up-to-date information on laws and culture in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia – Laws and culture
Monitor your health
Tell the medical staff accompanying your group, or the local health services, if you:
  • develop flu-like symptoms, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath
  • have other symptoms, such as vomiting or diarrhea
Learn more:
If you become sick or injured while travelling outside Canada or after your return
Tips for healthy travel 
Advice for older travellers

Returning to Canada

If you begin to feel sick during your travel back to Canada, you should:
  • put on a well-fitting respirator or mask, if possible 
  • limit contact with other people, if possible
  • inform the flight attendant, cruise staff and/or a border services officer as soon as possible. You may be referred to a quarantine officer for a health assessment and further direction
If you begin to feel sick after you return to Canada:
  • limit contact with other people
  • call a health care provider and notify them about your symptoms before an in-person appointment, so they can take proper precautions, if necessary 
  • tell the health care provider where you have travelled
Learn more:
If you become sick or injured while travelling outside Canada or after your return

Registration of Canadians Abroad

Sign up with the Registration of Canadians Abroad service to stay connected with the Government of Canada in case of an emergency abroad or an emergency at home.

Registration of Canadians Abroad

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