Compulsory Weekly Rapid Antigen Test Approved in Phase 2 of Lifting of COVID-19 Restrictions
The Government of Qatar announced the implementation of the second phase of the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions effective this Friday, 18 June, following the Cabinet’s regular meeting chaired by HE Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al-Thani at the Amiri Diwan.
Included in the Phase 2 guidelines are the permit entry for kids into malls and traditional markets, an increase in the number of people allowed in weddings, and the requirement for weekly rapid antigen tests for non-vaccinated employees and workers, except for recovered COVID-19 patients or those permitted by the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH).
Here is the complete list of the guidelines:
1. Allowing, according to the need of work, a maximum of 80% of the total number of employees in the government sector to work from the office, with the rest working remotely or upon request depending on the circumstances. The exceptions are the military, security and health sectors.
2. Continuing to allow meetings for employees and workers in the government and private sectors present at their workplace with the attendance of no more than 15 people, who must have completed both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Others who are not fully vaccinated can only attend the meeting remotely using modern technological means.
3. All employees in the public and private sector must carry out a rapid antigen test accredited by the MoPH on a weekly basis. This applies to employees who did not receive or continue all the doses of their COVID-19 vaccines. Those who did take both doses, recovered from the disease, or with health conditions that do not allow them to take the vaccine based on a medical report accredited by MoPH, are exempt from taking the rapid antigen test.
4. All citizens and residents must continue to wear masks when leaving the house for any reason unless the person is by himself/herself while driving or with his/her family.
5. All citizens and residents must continue to activate their EHTERAZ app on their smartphones when leaving the house for any reason.
6. Mosques shall continue opening for daily and Friday prayers, but children under seven years old are still not allowed. Toilets and ablution facilities must remain closed. The MoPH and the Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs will determine the other precautionary measures.
7. Allowing a maximum of 10 people who have completed doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to be in closed places in homes, or a maximum of five people if one of them did not complete both vaccine doses. A maximum of 20 people who have completed both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, or 10 people who have not completed or did not receive doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in outdoor areas of homes.
8. Allowing weddings at independent wedding halls and wedding halls in hotels with a maximum capacity of 40 people, provided at least 75% of attendees have completed both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
9. Allowing gatherings or sitting in public parks, beaches and the corniche for a maximum of 10 people or family members residing in the same house, and individual sports such as walking, running and cycling are allowed while continuing to close playgrounds and sports equipment in those places, and allowing the opening of private beaches not exceeding 40% of its capacity.
10. No car is allowed to have more than four passengers including the driver, with the exception of family members residing in the same house when leaving and moving in vehicles.
11. Buses must continue to operate at half their capacity while taking precautionary measures.
12. Permitting the operation of metro services and public transport services at a maximum capacity of 30% throughout the week, while closing the smoking areas and banning eating and drinking inside these services.
13. Driving schools shall continue to operate at a maximum capacity of 30%. All workers in schools must have completed their COVID-19 vaccination.
14. Cinemas and theatres can operate at a maximum capacity of 30%, provided at least 75% of the attendance have taken the two doses of the COVID-19 vaccines. Children under 12 are not allowed in.
15. Continuation of educational centres and private training centres to provide their services at a maximum capacity of 30%, provided that all instructors working in these centres have taken both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
16. Nurseries to remain open and providing their services at a maximum capacity of 30%, provided all workers have taken both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
17. Museums and public libraries to continue operating at a maximum capacity of 50%.
18. Centres for people with special needs to continue and that their educational capacity for a maximum of five people a session, provided all workers have taken both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
19. Continuation of professional sports training both indoors and outdoors, permitting preparatory training for local and international tournaments approved by the MoPH without, and allowing the training of amateurs with a maximum of 20 people in open spaces who have completed both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, and a maximum of 10 people indoors, provided they also take the two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, with no public attendance.
20. Approving the hosting of local and international sporting events after obtaining the approval of the Ministry of Public Health, with the presence of fans not surpassing the 30% capacity of the open-space venue, provided that among that, 75% of the public completed both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, and allowing the presence of no more than 20% of the capacity of the public in closed places, provided that they have completed doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
21. Approving the organisation of conferences, exhibitions and events with a capacity not exceeding 30%, after obtaining the approval of the MoPH.
22. Malls can operate at a maximum capacity of 50%, with children under 12 allowed in. Allowing the opening of food courts not exceeding 30% and prayer areas. Changing rooms remain closed.
23. Approving restaurants and cafes to provide food and beverage on the following conditions:
a. A capacity card that does not exceed 50% for restaurants and cafes that have the Clean Qatar certificate, and a capacity card that does not exceed 30% for restaurants and cafes that meet the conditions determined by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in open spaces.
b. A capacity card that does not exceed 30% for restaurants and cafes that have a Clean Qatar certificate, and a capacity card that does not exceed 15% for restaurants and cafes that meet the conditions determined by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, provided that all customers who have completed doses of the COVID-19 vaccine must be indoors.
24. Approving the rental of boats and tourist yachts, provided that all workers in those boats and yachts have completed doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, and that the number of passengers on those boats and yachts does not exceed 50% of its capacity and a maximum of 15 who have completed doses of the COVID-19 vaccine while allowing the presence of three within the mentioned percentage of those who did not complete or did not receive doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, and owners of personal boats and yachts, if used, are obligated to the percentage, number and controls referred to.
25. The continuation of the work of the popular markets throughout the week, with a capacity not exceeding 50%. Children under 12 years old are allowed.
26. Continuing the work of wholesale markets with a capacity not exceeding 50%. Children under 12 years old are allowed.
27. Beauty salons and barbershops can operate at a maximum capacity of 30%, provided that all workers in these facilities and clients have completed taking both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
28. Allowing amusement parks and all entertainment centres to be opened according to the following conditions:
a. At a maximum capacity of 30% for open-air amusement parks and entertainment centres.
b. At a maximum capacity of 20% for indoor amusement parks and entertainment centres, provided that 75% of the customers who have completed doses of the vaccine are among that percentage.
29. Continuing to allow health clubs, gyms, massage services, sauna and steam rooms, jacuzzi services, and Moroccan and Turkish baths at a maximum capacity of 40%, provided that all workers in these facilities and customers have completed both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
30. Continuing to allow the opening of swimming pools and water parks according to the following:
a. A maximum capacity of 40% for outdoor pools and waterparks.
b. A maximum capacity of 20% for indoor pools and waterparks, only customers who have completed doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are allowed to enter.
31. Continuing to allow medical services to be provided in private health care facilities, not exceeding 80% of the capacity of these facilities.
32. Continuing to allow cleaning and hospitality companies to provide their services through their employees who have completed doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, whether in one or more homes and allowing cleaning and hospitality services to be provided to the facilities contracting with them during working hours with a capacity not exceeding 50%, also through workers who are fully vaccinated.
The Cabinet also noted the continuation of the blended education system in all public and private schools and kindergartens, and the travel and return policy in the State of Qatar.
According to the previously announced COVID-19 Qatar National Response Plan of the government, the third phase will be implemented on 9 July, while the fourth and last phase will be implemented on 30 July if the conditions permit.
Source: Qatar News Agency
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