Hajj 2022 (Hajj 1443) – Guidance for British Pilgrims
Guidance for Hajj 2022 based on information available as at 17.06.22.
On Saturday 9th April, the Saudi Ministry of Hajj & Umrah announced that it will host 1 million pilgrims for this years Hajj via its twitter page.
The following criteria must be met for Hajj:
- Pilgrims to be under the age of 65 years old
- Fully COVID-19 Vaccinated (see below)
- Provide a negative PCR test 72 hours before departure
- Must not have performed Hajj in the past 5 years
Below are some frequently asked questions we’ve received over the past few weeks that we’ve answered and provided guidance for. This will assist pilgrims in their planning for Hajj & Umrah.
I wish to go for Hajj 2022, Who do I book with?
Hajj bookings for 2022 for pilgrims from United Kingdom, Europe, America and Australias has now ended.
Motawif is the only exclusive online platform authorised by the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah for pilgrims coming from Europe, America and Australia for the Hajj 2022 season (Hajj 1443). Aspiring pilgrims had to enter a draw which was made open on 10th June 2022 and ended on Monday 13th June at 5pm UK time. The draw results will be communicated between June, 15th and 18th. Motawif will reach out to all applicants selected by the electronic draw system.
For more information check out the FAQ’s on the Motawif website.
I had already booked with a travel agent for Hajj this year before the new Motawif portal was launched, what should I do?
Under Package Travel Regulations:
- If the organiser cannot perform the package as contracted with the consumer, the consumer may terminate the contract without penalty (PTR Reg 11);
- If the contract is terminated, by either the consumer or the organiser, the organiser must provide the consumer with a full refund of all payments made for the contract, even if the termination of the contract is due to unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances (PTR Regs 12 and 13);
- If the contract is terminated the refund must be provided to the consumer no later than 14 days after the termination (PTR Reg 14);
- If any part of a package contract cannot be performed after the package has commenced, and the organiser is unable to offer a suitable alternative arrangement, the consumer is entitled a reduction in the package price and possibly to compensation (PTR Regs 15 and 16)
Kindly reach out to your travel agent to get your refund. Given the unprecedented nature and speed at which Hajj bookings have shifted to an online portal, many Licensed Hajj Organisers will be under immense pressure to refund, work with them to get your money back in full or you may wish to use this to book an alternative package.
If the tour operator has become unresponsive or you are having difficulties obtaining your refund you can contact the following trade associations to help mediate between you and their members:
If this fails, you can contact your local Trading Standards.
I was issued a Refund Credit Note, Now that my tour operator cannot take me for Hajj what shall I do?
Refund Credit Notes were introduced during the pandemic in 2020 as a cash alternative and back by Government guarantee. All valid refund credit notes currently benefit from ATOL protection until 30 September 2021, at which point Government backing for their ATOL protection is set to end.
This means that consumers whose package holiday bookings are cancelled continue to be able to safely accept a refund credit note where it is suitable for them. Consumers are entitled to a cash refund for a cancelled package holiday should they not wish to accept a refund credit note.
The same conditions as previously advised to travel companies will apply to refund credit notes:
- They must be issued for a cancelled ATOL protected booking
- The booking must have been cancelled by the tour operator due to the coronavirus pandemic
- The refund credit note must be able to be exchanged for cash at a later date
Can I defer my existing booking for Hajj 2023?
The system for British nationals wishing to apply for Hajj from outside Saudi Arabia has changed. The Saudi authorities have not confirmed the process for Hajj 2023.
What is the latest UK Government Travel advice to Saudi Arabia?
The system for British nationals wishing to apply for Hajj from outside Saudi Arabia has changed. British nationals now need to apply directly to the Saudi authorities. On 10 June, the Saudi authorities launched a portal on the Motawif website for Hajj 2022 applications. This portal stopped accepting applications on 13 June. The portal offered a range of flight and accommodation packages. These Saudi government packages did not benefit from ATOL protection. The Saudi authorities have not confirmed the process for Hajj 2023.
Please visit the Foreign & Commonwealth Development Office’s website for the latest travel advice to Saudi Arabia
What Vaccinations do I need for Hajj 2022 from the UK?
Must have completed 2 doses from one of those approved vaccines: Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Oxford, Johnson, Sinopharm, Sinovac, Covaxin or Sputnik V.
see: Health Requirements and CDC for more info.
Meningitis ACWY Vaccination
Meningitis ACWY vaccination is a mandatory requirement for Hajj & Umrah and you should book early with either your GP, local pharmacy or travel clinic. You will need a vaccination certificate confirming that you have had the jab and must have been administered at least 10 days before arriving into Saudi Arabia.
The Meningitis ACWY is currently valid for 5 years from the date of vaccination. If you have previously been jabbed, check for validity. If it’s within the 5 years (and covers your stay in Saudi Arabia) you’re ok, if you’re outside the 5 years, then get jabbed up).
For further health advice and to ensure your immunisations are all up to date, consult your GP.
Which tour operators are authorised to sell a Hajj Package?
Motawif is the only exclusive online platform authorised by the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah for pilgrims coming from Europe, America and Australia.
I wish to go for Umrah in the Summer Holidays, is it too soon to book?
Yes, it is too soon to book and we advise you NOT TO BOOK ANY UMRAH PACKAGES until after Hajj and the new Umrah season of 1444H is officially announced.
Further Reading: Guidance on what to do when booking a pilgrimage package.
How do I avoid falling victim to Hajj & Umrah travel fraud?
Read our guidance here: https://cbhuk.org/hajj-umrah-fraud/
This post will be updated regularly, please bookmark and visit again soon.