Qatar Opens Up Ahead of FIFA Men's World Cup
Qatar's Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) announced a set of updates to its COVID-19 Travel and Return Policy today, which will come into effect on October 6, 2021.
The purpose of these changes is to ease the process of travel and return to the State of Qatar in light of the noticeable decrease in COVID-19 positive cases in recent times, with total commitment to prevention measures.
The Ministry of Public Health stated that the Travel and Return Policy had been a critical measure in the country's strategy against COVID-19. Enforcing a strict policy has played a significant role in maintaining Qatar's consistently low rates of COVID-19 infection.
Below is an overview of the key changes that will be implemented with effect on Wednesday:
- Replacing the current classification of countries with two lists, Green and Red, and a secondary list of Exceptional Red Countries based on international and local health risk indicators and the epidemiology of COVID-19 in the different countries.
- Travelers are required to sign an Undertaking and Acknowledgment Form before arrival to Qatar. The form is available on the MoPH website, the online registration platform (Ehteraz website), and the airlines' ticketing process. Fully vaccinated citizens and residents traveling from Green List countries are exempt from this procedure.
- The pre-travel PCR test is no longer mandatory for fully vaccinated Qatari citizens and residents traveling from Green List countries; instead, they will be required to do the PCR test within 36 hours of arrival.
- The conditionally approved vaccine list has been updated to include Sinovac and Sputnik (V) COVID-19 vaccines.
- Visitors are now able to activate the Ehteraz mobile application using an international SIM card.
- Non-residents of Qatar must register via an online registration platform (www.ehteraz.gov.qa) at least three days before arrival.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Qatar welcomed over 2 million visitors in 2019, representing an increase of 17% compared to the same period in 2018. In addition, visitation from nationals of all regions of the world grew significantly, reported QatarTourism.
The most prestigious soccer tournament in the world, the FIFA Men's World Cup™, sees 32 nations compete against each other beginning in November 2022. Continental qualification pathways leading to an exciting finals event bring fans together around the passion and love for the game.
The U.S. Department of State recently issued a Level 3 Travel Advisory saying 'reconsider travel to Qatar due to COVID-19.'
Due to risks to civil aviation operating within the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman region, including Qatar, the Federal Aviation Administration has issued an advisory Notice to Airmen and/or a Special Federal Aviation Regulation. In addition, U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration's Prohibitions, Restrictions, and Notices for more information.
Read the Department of State's webpage before you plan any international travel.