Qatar, late last week, announced a new set of entry requirements, including a PCR-RT test for transit passengers (read more here), but appears to allow fully vaccinated travelers to enter the state.
Passengers must go antibody test upon arrival to Qatar, and if no antibodies in the blood, then a PCR-RT test combined with a quarantine.
Here’s the diagram that Qatar has released:
- Citizens and residents can travel abroad at any time, provided that the travel and return policy is adhered to.
- The State of Qatar has classified countries in green, yellow, and red lists according to the level of risk in each country.
- Pre-electronic registration through (www.ehteraz.gov.qa) to obtain a travel permit is mandatory for all passengers (including Qatari citizens and residents) at least (12) hours before travel, and the passengers will be required to download all official documents and present the travel permit to the airline employees (in case of travelling through Hamad International Airport) to allow them to board the aircraft, or to the immigration employees at the land borders (in the event of traveling through Abu Samra land port).
- Unvaccinated citizens and residents who wish to travel abroad to a country classified as non-green are required to book hotel quarantine packages before travelling, through the Discover Qatar website at one of the designated quarantine hotels in Qatar.
- Individuals wishing to travel abroad must be aware of the health measures applied in the country of arrival regarding quarantine duration and Covid-19 certificate requirement.
- A PCR test for travel abroad must be conducted at private healthcare facilities which were previously announced by the Ministry of Public Health.
- A PCR test must be conducted at an approved medical center by the local Ministry of Health in the country of departure before travelling to the State of Qatar.
- GCC citizens who have recovered from Covid-19 are required to present the original vaccination certificate (at least one dose of any of the recognized vaccines by the Ministry of Public Health- Qatar), a PCR test, as well as a certificate proving occurrence of Covid- 19 infection.
- Employees planning to travel abroad should coordinate with their employers on their travel and return dates taking into consideration the quarantine duration.
- All passengers traveling through the State of Qatar (Transit) must present a (PCR) test certificate before travelling, valid for 72 hours from arrival, and if another PCR test is needed for their next destination, the test can be conducted at Hamad International Airport for a fixed charge of Qrs. 300 per test.
- If hotel quarantine criteria apply, the Ministry of Public Health shall cover costs of the hotel quarantine packages in Qatar for patients receiving their treatment abroad with their official escorts ( with written approval from Medical Committee for Treatment Abroad of the Ministry of Public Health ) at the expense of the state of Qatar. The employers shall cover expenses of the hotel quarantine for their employees upon returning from official missions.
- In the event of home quarantine, accommodation conditions must be appropriate, where there is a separate room with ensuite bathroom. If the accommodation does not meet the requirements, the passenger must book a hotel quarantine package through the “Discover Qatar” website before travelling to Qatar.
- Immunity period for the vaccinated individuals is (12) months, starting after 14 days from the date of the second dose and the immunity period can be extended based on any new data in this regard.
- Lists of approved / conditionally approved Vaccines by Ministry of Public Health :
Approved Vaccines *Conditionally approved vaccines:
- Pfizer/ BioNTech ( Comirnaty)
- Sinopharm vaccine
- Moderna (Spikefax)
- AstraZeneca (Coveshield/Oxford/Vaxepheria)
- Jansen/Johnson & Johnson (only one dose)
- Travelers who are fully vaccinated with the above specified conditionally approved vaccines shall undergo antibody test upon arrival, if the result is positive, they shall be exempt from the quarantine requirements; if the result is negative, the passenger will be required to do PCR test upon arrival and must undergo quarantine based on the classification of the departure country.
- Passengers who have taken one of the recognized vaccines must submit the original vaccination certificate, which shall include the following information:
- Name of the passenger and it must match the passport.
- Dose dates according to type of the vaccine (one dose for Jansen vaccine and two doses for other vaccines).
- Type/name of the vaccine.
- Lot number of the vaccine (if any).
- Official logo or seal of the vaccination authority.
- Citizens and residents from a previous infection within the last (12) months are exempt from quarantine upon return from abroad if they were asymptomatic, and their PCR test result is negative.
- This rule shall apply to the individuals diagnosed in Qatar only, while those diagnosed in any of GCC countries who have received at least one dose of recognized vaccines by MoPH Qatar, shall be exempt from quarantine provided that a valid official certificate with a detailing the previous infection, issued by the local Ministry of Health in the GCC, is presented.
- It is the responsibility of the individuals to make sure of any changes to the travel and return policy of the State of Qatar through the official sources and websites previously mentioned before planning travel.
Group A: Citizens and residents including GCC States citizens:
– Before travelling to the State of Qatar:
- Conduct a PCR test proving that they are free of Covid-19 up to 72 hours before reaching Qatar, from a medical center accredited by the local Ministry of Health in the country of departure.
- Pre-register online via the dedicated website (www.ehteraz.gov.qa) at least (12) hours before travel and download the required official documents.
- The passenger shall be exempt from quarantine if the required doses are received from a vaccine licensed by the Ministry of Public Health; provided that at least 14 days have passed from receiving the second dose if the vaccine is two doses or one dose of the (Jansen) vaccine.
- People who have partially received the vaccine (one dose out of two doses), or who are fully vaccinated but 14 days have not passed from receiving the prescribed doses, or people who have received vaccines with conditional approval from the Ministry of Public Health:
- These categories shall be quarantined according to classification of the country of arrival, and they must book the hotel quarantine package through “Discover Qatar” website if they come from a yellow list country (7 days) or a red list country (10 days).
- Unvaccinated children aged (0-11) travelling with their fully vaccinated parents shall be exempted from quarantine if they are coming from a green listed country.
- Unvaccinated children aged (12-17) travelling with their fully vaccinated parents shall be subject to five (05) days of home quarantine if they are coming from a green listed country.
- Unvaccinated children aged (0-17) travelling with their fully vaccinated parents shall be subject to home quarantine based on classification of the country of arrival (07) days for the yellow countries, (10 days for red countries)”.
- Unvaccinated children travelling with their vaccinated parents who are GCC citizens but do not have a Qatari residence card (QID) shall be subject to hotel quarantine based on classification of the country of arrival (05 days for green list countries, 07 days for yellow list countries, and 10 days for red list countries).
- For Unvaccinated group A passengers who have travelled to multiple countries over the past 10 days; in order to avail the quarantine privileges of classification of the countries with a lowest risk level, the passenger must stay in a country classified in the lowest level for a period of at least ten days.
- For Unvaccinated Group A passengers returning from treatment trips abroad, they must submit a health certificate from the Medical Treatment Committee Abroad through pre-registration at www.Ehteraz.gov.qa.
Meanwhile, patients coming from green and yellow countries classified shall be required to undergo home quarantine according to classification of the country of arrival (coming from green countries 5 days/ yellow countries 7 days) and patients coming from red-classified countries must be quarantined for 10 days, with a companion even if they were immune (as needed).
- For unvaccinated nursing mothers, pregnant women and persons aged 75 and over, the same screening and quarantine policy shall be applied to them like other unvaccinated persons.
– Group A – Examination and quarantine policy upon arrival in Qatar:
- Screening will be carried out for passengers who show symptoms of infection as necessary, depending on opinion of the medical team at the State’s (outlets) ports.
- Unvaccinated passengers, those with unapproved vaccines in Qatar, or who have not completed a period of (14) days from the date of the second dose, shall be subject to the following procedures:
- Arrivals from green-rated countries: Shall undergo a home quarantine for (5) days with another PCR test at a primary health care center on the fourth day. The passenger shall be cleared on the fifth day if the test is negative.
- Arrivals from yellow-rated countries: Shall undergo a hotel quarantine for (7) days with PCR test (at expense of the passenger) at the hotel on the sixth day. The passenger shall be cleared on the seventh day if the test is negative.
- Arrivals from red-rated countries: Shall undergo a hotel quarantine for (10) with a PCR test on arrival at the hotel and on the ninth day (at the passenger’s expense). They shall be cleared on the tenth day if the test is negative.
- Vaccinated passengers coming from red-rated countries shall undergo a PCR test (at the passenger’s expense) upon arrival at Hamad International Airport/ Land Port, if the test result is positive, the passenger must comply with the isolation protocol.
- Hotel quarantine shall apply for (5) days to GCC citizens who do not have a Qatari residence card, if they come from green listed countries.
Group B: Family visits, businessmen, tourists including GCC residents:
Entry shall be restricted to the vaccinated and/or recovered individuals as specified in items 13, 14, 15 and 16 in the general policy.
Fully vaccinated individuals:
- Shall be exempt from the quarantine in the event of obtaining vaccine doses licensed by the Ministry of Public Health and elapse of (14) days after receiving the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or from a single dose in the case of the single-dose vaccine.
- Unvaccinated children aged (0-11) travelling with their fully vaccinated parents shall be exempted from the quarantine if they come from green listed countries.
- Unvaccinated children aged (0-11) travelling with their fully vaccinated parents shall be subjected to hotel quarantine for 07 days if they come from yellow listed countries.
- There is no exception for the unvaccinated children coming from red listed countries
- Passengers must download and activate the Ehteraz app on their mobile phones using locally approved SIM cards which can be obtained from a local provider (Ooredoo or Vodafone).
Ehteraz application policies:
- Passengers coming to Qatar must download Ehteraz app and activate it on their mobile phones upon their arrival at the Port of Entry (PoE). To achieve this, the passenger must obtain the following:
- A Qatari SIM card from a local telecommunications operator (Ooredoo or Vodafone).
- Access to the Internet.
- A smartphone that supports Android 6, newer versions or IOS 13.5 and above.
- Download the app on the mobile either via Google Play, Apple App Store or from any online search engines.
- Knowing that SIM cards and smartphones are available for purchase at Hamad International Airport and Abu Samra Port if the passenger does not own them before arrival.
- Diplomats, administrative cardholders, and VIP visitors shall be exempted from this procedure.
- The health status in Ehteraz app shall remain in yellow throughout period of the quarantine, until a negative Covid- 19 test result appears in accordance with the above quarantine policy.
- The health status in Ehteraz application for fully vaccinated people in the State of Qatar shall remain green with a golden frame to indicate that they are exempted from quarantine if result of the PCR test is negative and that they have completed (14) days from the date of the scheduled doses according to the vaccine.
- The health status in Ehteraz app for citizens and residents vaccinated outside the State of Qatar shall remain green without a golden frame until their vaccination data is updated in the system.
- The health status in Ehteraz app for visitors vaccinated abroad shall remain green without a golden frame until their vaccination data is updated in the system.
Passengers returning from Umrah:
Citizens and residents coming from Umrah who are unable to obtain a valid PCR test from the country of arrival shall be allowed to board their flights provided they undergo a PCR test upon arrival at Hamad International Airport or Abu Samra land port for a fixed fee of Qrs. 300 per test.
According to Saudi Arabia’s rules, only people who have received approved vaccination doses can perform Umrah and visit Mecca Al-Mukarramah.
People planning to travel to Umrah should refer to the policy and procedures announced by the Ministry of Awqaf (Endowments) and Islamic Affairs.
It appears that this updated legislation would allow leisure travel to Qatar for those who are fully vaccinated and come from the Green and Yellow countries. However, arrivals from RED are prohibited for all other than Qataris, residents, and GCC nationals.
It doesn’t look good for non-vaccinated regardless of where they are coming from because then 5 to 10-day hotel quarantine is required depending on the type of country (Green, Yellow, and Red).
I am glad, however, that Qatar is slowly opening up non-national/resident arrivals.