The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) has updated its travel and quarantine guidelines for GCC citizens and residents entering Qatar.
Read below for the complete details.
- Citizens and Residents can travel abroad at any time, provided they adhere to the travel and return policy.
- Unvaccinated citizens and residents wishing to travel abroad to one of the countries not included in the COVID-19 Green List must book a hotel quarantine package from the listed hotels on the “Discover Qatar“ website before travelling.
- Those wishing to travel must know the procedures applied in the country they want to visit in terms of quarantine procedures, duration, and the need to provide a COVID-19-free certificate.
- COVID-19 PCR-test to travel abroad should be conducted at one of the private healthcare facilities announced by MoPH at a fixed rate of QAR300/per test.
- Employees must coordinate with their employers about the dates of their travel and return to Qatar. They should consider the quarantine period when planning their trip.
- All travellers to Qatar regardless of age, including those previously vaccinated or infected, must do a pre-travel COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours of arrival to Qatar at the country of origin in a medical center that their local Ministry of Health approved to perform COVID-19 PCR tests. The PCR test result should be negative before they are allowed to board the airplane to Qatar or enter the state through the land border.
- Certain categories will be subject to testing at the ports (airport, land port, or seaport) such as:
- Individuals travelling for less than 72 hours, such as government employees on official missions, country official visitors (VVIP), and diplomats can be tested upon arrival at the airport.
- Travellers who lost the PCR-test Certificate during travel can be tested at Hamad International Airport (HIA) or Abu Samra land port upon arrival on a standard fee of QAR300/per test.
- All passengers transiting through Qatar must have the mandatory pre-travel PCR test certificate, and in case they require another PCR test for their onward destination, they can have it at Hamad International Airport on a standard fee of QAR 300/per test.
- Individuals returning from countries or cities that don’t have medical centers that could perform COVID-19 PCR Tests or provide a COVID-19 PCR-Test Certificate, including travelers returning from Omrah.
- Travellers with symptoms will be tested as necessary as judged by the medical team at the ports.
- For quality assurance, the medical team will conduct random testing (sampling) for some returning travellers, particularly those coming from highly endemic countries.
- Travellers returning to Qatar or traveling through HIA to their onward destination should have a negative PCR Test Certificate to be allowed to board the aircraft to Qatar or enter the State through any ports of entry.
- The Ministry of Public Health announced that any medical center approved by the local health authority in the country of departure is acceptable, provided that the COVID-19 test is through RT-PCR and the center can provide a certificate.
- Individuals who undergo home quarantine must have a negative PCR test result performed on day 6 in order to be released from quarantine. Individuals who undergo hotel quarantine must have a negative PCR test result performed prior to release from hotel quarantine.
- Citizens and residents can return to the State of Qatar at any time, provided they adhere to the travel and return policy and protocols announced.
- Citizens, residents, and visitors shall bear the cost of the hotel quarantine for (7) days, if the hotel quarantine criteria apply, provided that the booking made through “Discover Qatar“ before their travel abroad.
- If the hotel quarantine criteria apply, the government will cover the costs of the hotel quarantine packages for patients receiving their treatment abroad at the expense of the State, along with their official escorts. The employer is responsible to cover the quarantine expenses for their employees who are on official missions.
- With home quarantine, the accommodation conditions should be suitable, provided it has a separate room with its ensuite bathroom. If the accommodation is not appropriate, one of the hotel quarantine packages must be booked for (7) days through the “Discover Qatar“ website before traveling to Qatar.
- Visitors, who don’t meet the Quarantine exemption criteria whether traveling from Green listed countries or non-green listed countries, are hotel quarantined at their own expenses for (7) days. They should book a quarantine package from the listed hotels on the “Discover Qatar“ website before their travel to Qatar.
- It is the responsibility of individuals to ensure that they are updated with any changes in the Entry and Return policy of the State of Qatar through the official sources and the sites mentioned above before planning their trip.
First: Citizens and Residents:
Fully vaccinated individuals:
- Citizens and residents who have completed the vaccination doses are exempt from quarantine upon return from travel if at least 14 days have passed after receiving the second dose of a two-dose series vaccine or from the single dose in case of single-dose regime vaccine, provided that the vaccines are recognised by the Ministry of Public Health in Qatar and a negative PCR test result before returning to Qatar.
- Citizens and residents may travel at any time after receiving the second dose. However, if they travel before the completion of the (14) days of the second dose and return before this period is completed then they will be subjected to home quarantine for a period of (7) days or until they finish the (14) days from the second dose, whichever is shorter.
- The validity of the vaccine to grant quarantine exemption is nine months, starting (14) days after the second dose. This immunity period could be extended based on new and emerging data.
- Non-vaccinated children below 18 years of age returning to Qatar from countries not included in the Green List with fully vaccinated parents are home quarantined for (7) days and be subjected to a PCR test on day 6.
- These rules apply to citizens and residents vaccinated in other countries using the vaccines recognized by the Ministry of Public Health in Qatar. In this case, an official vaccination card or certificate from the country where the vaccine was obtained should be presented to the medical team at the ports of entry upon arrival.
- The official vaccination card or certificate should have the following details:
- Name of the recipient as mentioned in their official documents;
- Date of dose receipt depending on the type of vaccine;
- Type of vaccine;
- Vaccine Lot number (preferable); and
- Official logo and stamp of the vaccination authority.
Previously COVID-19 infected individuals:
- Citizens and residents recovered from a previous infection within the last (9) months are exempted from quarantine upon return from their travel abroad, if they were asymptomatic and their PCR test result was negative.
- This rule applies to individuals infected in Qatar only.
- Citizens and residents traveling from Green listed countries are home quarantined for (7) days and should sign a Home Quarantine Undertaking.
- Citizens and residents traveling from countries not included in the Green List should be hotel quarantined for (7) days, and a hotel package must be booked from the listed hotels on the “Discover Qatar” website before their travel abroad.
Second: GCC Citizens:
- GCC citizens and residents are allowed to enter the State of Qatar at any time, provided they follow the travel and return policy.
- GCC citizens and residents should have a mandatory pre-travel COVID-19 PCR test result valid for (72) hours before arrival to Qatar from testing centers approved by their local health authority to do COVID-19 PCR tests.
- It is mandatory for travelers to install and activate Ehteraz app on their mobile phone using locally authorized SIM cards.
Fully vaccinated individuals:
- Fully vaccinated GCC citizens and residents who received any of the COVID-19 vaccines recognized in Qatar with at least (14) days since the last dose and present an official vaccination card or certificate are exempted from quarantine.
- Non-vaccinated children below 18 years of age traveling to Qatar with their fully vaccinated parents are hotel quarantined for (7) days, provided that the booking made through “Discover Qatar“ before their arrival to Qatar. On the condition that one of the parents can be exempted, while the other quarantined with the children and his/her health status on Ehteraz app will turn YELLOW, which means they are under quarantine. During the quarantine period, the parents cannot exchange their roles.
- Subject to correct certification and a pre-arrival PCR test with a negative result, GCC citizens and residents who have been previously infected with COVID-19 and have then received a single dose of vaccine may be exempted from quarantine once two weeks after vaccination have elapsed.
- The same exemption can be applied to those who have been infected after receiving a single dose of vaccine once two weeks has elapsed.
- The exemption from quarantine applies to GCC citizens and residents entering Qatar through either Hamad International Airport or the Abu Samra land crossing.
- GCC citizens and residents must present the following documents to be eligible for quarantine exemption:
- An approved vaccination certificate with the date of their single dose;
- An approved medical certificate showing the date of their COVID-19 infection;
- Negative PCR test result from swab taken within 72 hours prior to entering Qatar.
- GCC citizens and residents will be required to do PCR test at Hamad International Airport or Abu Samra upon arrival with additional fees of QR300 payable using a bank card or through an online link which will be sent to the individual’s mobile number immediately after registering in HIA or Abu Samra Clinics.
- Only the following vaccines will be accepted by MOPH:
- Pfizer BioNTech
- Covishield (Astrazeneca)
- Janssen/Johnson & Johnson
- All of the quarantine exemptions mentioned above are not applicable to GCC citizens and its residents who are traveling into Qatar from any of the 6 East Asian countries where mandatory hotel quarantine applies.
- The policy change is in line with the latest clinical evidence showing that the combination of antibodies due to previous infection and one vaccine dose are on par with fully vaccinated individuals.
Unvaccinated individuals or those who doesn’t meet the quarantine exemption criteria:
- GCC citizens and residents who were unvaccinated or did not meet the quarantine exemption criteria, are hotel quarantined at their own expense for a week, provided that the hotel quarantine package is booked through the “Discover Qatar” website before traveling to the State of Qatar, and their health status on Ehteraz app will be YELLOW.
Population Groups Exempted from Hotel Quarantine:
The following groups of citizens and residents returning to Qatar from countries not included in the Green List are exempted from hotel quarantine, and will be subject to home quarantine:
- Unvaccinated children aged below 18, whether returning from travel alone or with their parents, are home quarantined for (7) days, provided that both parents are vaccinated.
- Vaccinated individuals who received their second dose in Qatar and have not completed the specified period of (14) days from the date of the second dose are home quarantined for (7) days or until they complete the duration of (14) days following the second dose, whichever is shorter.
- Unvaccinated individuals aged 75 and above are home quarantined with one escort from the same household.
- Pregnant women returning to the country with their vaccinated husbands, or a vaccinated relative from the same household.
- Lactating mothers and their infants aged 2 years and below returning to the country with their vaccinated husbands or a vaccinated relative from the same household.
- Unvaccinated patients treated abroad at the expense of the State with one escort from the same household. This applies after assessing the patient’s health condition by the relevant department at MOPH.
The above-mentioned groups must sign an undertaking showing their compliance with the home quarantine measures. However, for those aged below 18, their parents or guardian shall sign the undertaking affirming their children’s compliance with the home quarantine regulations.
EHTERAZ APP POLICY:
- Travelers arriving or returning to the State of Qatar must download and activate the Ehteraz app on their mobiles upon arrival to the Port of Entry (PoE). To achieve that the below must be obtained by the traveler:
- A Qatari SIM Card from a local telecom operator (Ooredoo and Vodafone).
- Internet access.
- A smartphone that supports either Android 6 and up or IOS 13.5 and higher.
- Download the application on your mobile phone either via Google Play or Apple App Store or from any search engines on the internet.
- Knowing that, SIM cards and smartphones are available for purchase at Hamad International Airport and Abu Samra port if the traveler does not have them before arrival.
- Diplomats, administrative cardholders, and VVIP visitors are exempted.
- Health status on Ehteraz will remain YELLOW for the whole of quarantine duration, and until a negative COVID-19 test result is obtained as per the quarantine policy stated above.
- Health Status on Ehteraz for the vaccinated individuals in Qatar will remain GREEN with a Golden Frame to indicate they are exempted from quarantine if their PCR test result was negative and they completed (14) days after the second dose.
- The Health Status on Ehteraz for citizens and residents who have been vaccinated abroad will remain GREEN without Golden Frame until their vaccination data are updated in the system.
Travelers returning from Umrah:
- Citizens and residents who came from Umrah and cannot provide a valid PCR test certificate should be allowed to board their flights but they must undergo PCR test upon arrival at Hamad International Airport or Abu Samra port on a standard fee of QAR 300/- per test.
- All travelers must be vaccinated following KSA rules that only vaccinated individuals could perform Umrah and visit Makkah.
- Individuals planning to travel for Umrah should refer to the policy and procedures announced by the Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs.
Travelers from India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri-Lanka, and the Philippines:
- Exemptions from quarantine policy for vaccinated individuals do not apply.
- The following measures are implemented for travelers coming from India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines, whether they are traveling through direct flight or via other countries (transit), which include:
- All passengers whose original flight is from the said countries are subject to mandatory COVID-19 PCR Test done 48 hours before departure from the testing centers approved by their local health authority. Knowing that no one can board the flight to Qatar without a valid Negative PCR certificate.
- All arrivals from those countries must undergo (10) days quarantine in a dedicated quarantine facility, or (14) days if quarantined at Mekhaines facility.
- Home quarantine criteria is not applicable for travelers coming from these countries, including the exemptions due to vaccination or recovery from a previous infection with the virus during the past nine months.
- All arrivals from those countries must undergo a repeat COVID-19 PCR test at the quarantine facility within one day of arrival. Knowing that the PCR test will be repeated during and before the end of the quarantine period.
- All passengers transiting through Qatar must have the mandatory pre-travel PCR test as mentioned in point 1, and in case they require another PCR test for their onward destination, they can have it at Hamad International Airport on a standard fee of QAR300/per test.
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