Controlled Re-escalation of COVID-19 Restrictions in Qatar
The Ministry of Public Health has announced the controlled re-escalation of COVID-19 restrictions following a steady increase in the number of COVID cases over the past few weeks. Some of the changes include:
- Limiting capacity in restaurants to 50 percent outdoors and 15 percent indoors, with the exception of restaurants certified by the Qatar Clean Program, which can operate with an indoor capacity of 30 percent.
- Closing all indoor swimming pools and water parks and maintaining outdoor capacity at 30 percent.
- Closing all indoor theme parks and leisure centers, and limit capacity outdoors to 30 percent.
- Limiting all social gatherings to a maximum of 5 people indoors and 15 people outdoors.
- Reducing the capacity in nurseries and childcare centers to 30 percent of total capacity.
All air passengers arriving in the United States are required to present proof of negative COVID-19 test or recovery from COVID-19 beginning January 26, 2021. On January 12, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an Order requiring all air passengers, including U.S. citizens, arriving to the United States from a foreign country to get tested no more than three days before their flight departs. Travelers must provide proof of the negative result or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 to the airline before boarding the flight. Testing is required regardless of vaccination status. This Order went into effect on January 26, 2021. Travelers departing from Qatar should contact their health care provider to determine where they can be tested. Contact information for Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) health center is available here and a list of local hospitals and physicians is available on the U.S. Embassy website.
Quarantine requirements for all arrivals in Qatar have been extended through May 31, 2021. These requirements also apply to land arrivals via Qatar’s recently opened border with Saudi Arabia who must book specific quarantine packages for this method of arrival. Qatari citizens, residency permit holders, and certain people undertaking new employment may enter Qatar. All travelers should coordinate closely with their sponsors, as advance permission may be required to enter Qatar in addition to quarantine and testing regulations. Per recent changes in travel policy, residents who are currently in the State of Qatar can receive an exceptional entry permit upon departure. Tourists and visitors are currently not allowed to enter Qatar. Please also note that quarantine rules for travelers arriving in Doha from the UK, the Netherlands, South Africa, and Denmark recently changed. These travelers must quarantine at specific hotels.
Travelers arriving from low-risk, Green List countries are subject to a coronavirus test upon arrival at the airport and must pledge to quarantine at home for one week. Individuals will be required to take a COVID-19 test at the end of their one-week quarantine period. Alternative options for testing before arrival may be available depending on accredited COVID-19 test centers available in the Green List country.
Individuals arriving from countries not deemed low risk (Red List) are required to obtain a test from an accredited testing center less than 48 hours before traveling. One week of home quarantine is required after arrival. If no accredited testing centers are available, the individual may arrive in Qatar but is required to quarantine in a hotel at their own expense. The hotel quarantine must be booked through the Discover Qatar website, which now has availability through May 31. A COVID-19 test is required at the end of that week of quarantine. If it is negative, the individual may then quarantine at home. At present, the United States is NOT listed as a low-risk country.
All details mentioned above are subject to change by the government of Qatar. For details on quarantine, please visit the Ministry of Health’s Travel and Return Policy page. Please note that the U.S. Embassy is not able to intercede in matters of quarantine, COVID-19 testing, and entering the country in individual cases.
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