[Updated] The Government Communications Office (GCO) has announced that residents who are currently in Qatar, and wish to travel and return to the country, will automatically receive an Exceptional Entry Permit upon departure starting from Sunday, 29 November.

In a statement released on their website, GCO said this is in continuation of the gradual lifting of restrictions imposed in Qatar because of the COVID-19 pandemic, based on public health indicators in the country and around the world, and on Qatar’s travel policy announced previously. The statement said:

Residents who are currently in the State of Qatar and wish to travel and return will automatically receive an exceptional entry permit upon departure. The resident or their employer will be able to printout the exceptional entry permit from the Ministry of Interior’s website at any point after the resident has departed Qatar. Requests will no longer need to be submitted through the ‘Qatar Portal’ website. The permit will be available automatically upon registration of the resident’s departure from Qatar.

For steps on how to print the Exceptional Entry Permit as per this new rule, here is the guide for the printing of the EEP.

For provisions, requirements and exemptions related to Quarantine and pre-arrival COVID-19 testing, please refer to the ‘Quarantine Requirements’ outlined in the sample EEP. The EEP will be valid for 6 to 7 months from issue date and it could be less or more, and the Country of Embarkation will no longer be mentioned in the EEP.

This new rule applies to dependents as well. GCO clarifies, however, that the automatic exceptional entry permit service will not be available for residents who are currently outside Qatar. The automatic printing of EEP option will also NOT be available for residents who had exited the country prior to the implementation of this new rule. Therefore, sponsored employees and students who had existed prior to the 26th November 2020 would still be required to request for the EEP through their business focal points and through the ‘Qatar Portal’ website directly for their dependents. This type of EEP would still be subject to the processing timeline of the concerned government authorities.

Furthermore, the quarantine period will now be for one week only after arrival in the country, regardless where one is coming from. Home quarantine will be applied to those coming from countries on the Ministry of Public Health’s Green List. Hotel quarantine is mandatory for those coming from countries that are not included in the Green List. The quarantine period for those who use shared quarantine facilities will be two weeks. GCO notes that the decision is based on national and international epidemiology statistics.

Based on these new procedures, a COVID-19 test will be conducted for those returning from travel upon arrival to the country in the event they haven’t had a test within 48 hours before traveling to Doha by one of Ministry of Public Health’s accredited COVID-19 Testing Centers. Then a second test will be conducted on the sixth day from the date of arrival. The status on the Ehteraz application remains yellow until the end of the seventh day from the date of arrival.

For more information, visit the COVID-19 page on the Ministry of Public Health’s website.