The Council of British Hajjis is advising those booking trips to Mecca to perform Hajj this year to follow the advice from the Saudi Authorities and hold off for now.
Potential travellers are advised against entering into contracts with Hajj tour operators due to the uncertainty over the coronavirus pandemic.
Up to 25,000 British Muslims will be looking to book trips to Mecca over the coming months to perform Hajj in July.
Rashid Mogradia, founder of the Council of British Hajjis, said: “Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office are advising indefinitely against all but essential travel and there seems to a lot of uncertainty over whether or not Hajj will take place this year.
“The Saudi authorities are taking the health and wellbeing of Muslims from all over the world wanting to undertake the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimage seriously by suspending the lesser pilgrimage of Umrah, and advising people to defer making Hajj bookings until there is a clear picture on the spread of the coronavirus.”
When and if the Saudi authorities resume Umrah and make announcements for the Hajj this year, travellers are advised to ensure they use ATOL protected agents, while also seeking advice from the Council of British Hajjis if they have concerns.
Matt Buffey, head of consumer protection at the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said: “When bookings for Hajj and Umrah recommence, make sure you research your travel provider before booking to ensure your important trip is ATOL protected.
“Making a booking through an agent that is not licenced by ATOL and the Ministry of Hajj & Umrah risks both your money and your pilgrimage.
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