His Highness the Amir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, chaired the meeting of the Supreme Committee for Crisis Management to follow up on all developments and precautionary measures that will combat the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Qatar.
The Amir directed the implementation of the following:
1. Suspension of all incoming flights to Doha.
All incoming flights to Doha will be suspended starting this Wednesday evening, 18 March, for a period of 14 days, with the exception of air cargo and transit flights.
Qatari citizens from any destination in the world will be allowed entry to Qatar provided that they undergo quarantine for 14 days. Qatari students outside the country are advised to adhere to the policies of the country they are in. Qatar embassies will provide any required services, including facilitation of procedures for return to the State of Qatar if the need arises. Citizens and residents in the State of Qatar are also advised to avoid travel during this period.
2. All public transportation, including the Doha Metro and Karwa buses, are suspended.
3. These individuals/groups are advised to work remotely: employees over the age of 55, pregnant women and people suffering from chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart and kidney disease, and stress.
4. All students in public schools will start distance learning from Sunday, 22 March. Students from grades one to 11 will be subject to a continuous evaluation system. As for Grade 12 students, they will still take high school exams on time and at identified examination centres, which will be announced later. Students in private schools and universities are also advised to start online classes and follow the academic calendar and the evaluation systems approved for them.
5. Implementation of resolutions related to the economic and financial sector, as follows:
- First Resolution – His Highness to support and provide financial and economic incentives amounting to QAR75 billion to the private sector.
- Second Resolution – for the central bank to put in place the appropriate mechanism to encourage banks to postpone loan instalments and obligations of the private sector with a grace period of six months.
- Third Resolution – directing the Qatar Development Bank to postpone the instalments of all borrowers for a period of six months.
- Fourth Resolution – directing government funds to increase investments in the stock exchange by QAR10 billion.
- Fifth Resolution – the Central Bank to provide additional liquidity to banks operating in the country
- Sixth Resolution – Exempting food and medical goods from customs duties for a period of six months, provided that this is reflected in the selling price.
- Seventh Resolution – Exempting the following sectors from electricity and water fees for a period of six months:
– Hospitality and tourism sector
– Retail sector
– Small and medium industries sector
– Commercial complexes in exchange for providing services and exemptions to tenants
– Logistics areas
- Eighth Resolution – exemption from rents for the logistical areas and small and medium industries for a period of six months, thus ending the package of decisions that were directed today.
The committee reiterates its call to all sectors and institutions in the state, to cooperate and abide by all procedures and take all the necessary precautions to overcome the crisis.