Qatar will lift COVID-19 restrictions in four phases, starting on 15 June 2020. This was announced in a press conference by HE Lolwah Rashid AlKhater, Official Spokesperson of the Supreme Committee for Crisis Management on 8 June 2020.
‘The time has come to gradually lift the restrictions, this will be done in four phases while adhering to all precautionary measures’, she noted.
The first phase of easing restrictions will be from 15 June, which will be followed by a second phase from 1 July; the third phase will be in August followed by the fourth in September.
Gatherings – Mosques
Phase 1 will see the restricted opening of mosques, with an exemption for Friday prayers.
The Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs announced in a Tweet:
‘We inform you that the mosques will be reopened for prayers (with the exception of Friday prayers) starting from next Monday, June 15, and a specific number of mosques which will be announced later, according to specific precautionary measures illustrated in this video.’
بفضل من الله نبشركم بإعادة فتح المساجد للصلوات (بإستثناء صلاة الجمعة) إبتداء من يوم الاثنين القادم 15 يونيو وبعدد محدد من المساجد سيتم الإعلان عنها لاحقاً، وذلك وفق إجراءات إحترازية محددة يوضحها هذا الفيديو.#وزارة_الأوقاف#سلامتك_هي_سلامتي #لأجل_قطر_كلنا_في_البيت pic.twitter.com/9RnJhfiM3N
— وزارة الأوقاف – قطر (@AwqafM) June 8, 2020
Friday prayers will be allowed in 54 mosques from the third phase, with the complete opening of mosques for Friday prayers in September. The mosques will open only with the call of prayer; worshippers are not advised to go to the mosques earlier. Also, they must follow social distancing rules during the prayers.
Gatherings – Business & Entertainment
Business-related mass gatherings, including trade shows and conferences, will be allowed in the fourth phase. Entertainment-related gatherings, including theatres and cinemas, will also open in this phase.
Necessary personal boat trips and foreign travel will be permitted. Those returning to Doha after travel will be subject to compulsory hotel quarantine, at his or her expense, for a period of two weeks. A home quarantine option will not be available.
Boat/yacht rentals for families (groups of less than 10) will be allowed in Phase 2. Low risk inbound flights for priority passengers (eg returning residents) will start operating from 1 August.
Excursion boats, expanding inbound flights as advised by MoPH, and the metro and buses (with restricted service) will start operating by September.
Outdoor and Professional Sports
In Phase 1, sports training will be permitted in open spaces and large halls for professional sportspersons, for no more than five people. Sports-related mass gatherings, including local and international sporting events, are permitted from 1 September onwards.
Education and Health
Select private health facilities will open at 40% capacity, while emergency services will continue. The capacity will be increased to 100% by September.
Nurseries and childcare facilities will be allowed to start functioning in Phase 3, whereas the new academic year will commence in Phase 4 (1 September).
Business and Leisure
Phase 1 will see the partial opening of malls. Shops with a minimum of 300 sq m will open, so long as the mall capacity does not exceed 30%. In Phase 2, all malls will open with restricted hours and capacity. Selected restaurants will open with low capacity. Souqs, wholesale markets, museums and libraries will open with restricted hours and capacity in this phase.
Phase 3 will see the opening of all malls, health clubs, pools, beauty salons, massage parlours, barbershops and hairdressers. Private training centres will open in Phase 3, while cleaning and hospitality services will open in Phase 4.
Regarding workplace restrictions, companies will continue with the current 20% until 1 July. The capacity will be increased to 50%, 80% and 100% in Phase 2, Phase 3, and Phase 4 respectively.