The Peninsula Online
Doha: Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) said on their website that as part of State of Qatar’s plans for the gradual lifting of restrictions imposed to respond to COVID-19 pandemic, the previously announced travel and return policy was reviewed and it was agreed to continue the implementation of the same policy with minor amendments effective on, 22nd October.
The policy includes the following:
First: Travelling Abroad Policy:
• Citizens and Residents can travel abroad at any time, provided they adhere to the travel and return policy.
• Those wishing to travel must be aware of the precautionary measures implemented in the country they plan to visit in terms of quarantine policy, its duration, and the requirement to provide a COVID19-free certificate.
• 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.
Read Also: MoPH revises list of low-risk countries from Oct 22
Second: Return and Entry Policy:
1. Testing and Quarantine Policies:
o Travelers returning from low-risk countries must have COVID-19 test upon arrival at the Airport, and sign a Home Quarantine Undertaking to comply with the home quarantine procedure for a week, noting that their health status on Ehteraz’s application will be yellow, indicating that the individual is under quarantine. On the sixth day, the individual should visit one of the PHCC healthcare centers to re-test for COVID-19. If the test result is positive, the individual is isolated and their health status on Ehteraz will change to red. If it is negative, then the quarantine period is completed by the end of the seventh day and their health status on Ehteraz will change to green. It should be noted that the COVID-19 Green List will be published on the Ministry of Public Health’s website and announced by the Civil Aviation Authority. The COVID-19 Green List will be reviewed and updated regularly based on public health indicators in Qatar and around the world.
o Travelers from the other countries, where approved COVID-19 testing centers are not in place, should be hotel quarantined at their own expense for a week. They should book a hotel quarantine for a week from the listed hotels on the “Discover Qatar” website. These individuals will require a COVID-19 re-test on day 6. If the result is negative, and the individual is asymptomatic, they are released from the hotel on the 7th day to continue the quarantine period at home for another seven days. Their health status on Ehteraz will remain yellow and will change back to green at the end of the quarantine period, which is 14 days in total.
o If there are MOPH approved COVID-19 testing centers at the country of travel, a COVID-19-free certificate should be obtained from one of these centers to be exempted from testing at the Airport. The Certificate should not exceed 48 hours before travel, noting that the list of COVID-19 testing centers is updated regularly on the Ministry of Public Health’s website.
o In the case of home quarantine, the accommodation conditions should be suitable and have a separate room with its ensuite bathroom. If the accommodation is not appropriate, one of the hotel quarantine packages must be booked for the quarantine period through the “Discover Qatar” website. People must adhere to the home quarantine guidelines to protect themselves and their family.
o If the traveler was a minor, their official guardian should sign the Home Quarantine Undertaking.
2. Citizens, their Spouses and Children, Permanent Residency Holders, and GCC Citizens:
o Citizens, their spouses and children, permanent residency holders, and GCC citizens can return to the State of Qatar at any time, provided that they adhere to the travel and return policies according to the countries of travel.
o Citizens, their spouses and children, permanent residency holders, and GCC citizens shall bear the cost of the hotel quarantine for a week, provided that the booking is made through “Discover Qatar.” If the individual’s accommodation condition doesn’t meet the home quarantine criteria, the hotel booking should be for 2 weeks.
o Patients receiving treatment abroad at the expense of the State, along with their escorts, shall be exempted from the cost of the hotel quarantine. The same applies to the employees who are on official missions, provided that the hotel quarantine conditions applies.
o Residents were allowed to return to the State of Qatar on 1st August by applying for an “Exceptional Entry Permit” through the “Qatar Portal” website.
o The employer should submit an “Exceptional Entry Permit” application for the company/ institute’s employees electronically via the “Qatar Portal” website. A similar process applies to domestic workers.
o The employer shall bear the costs of the quarantine in the dedicated facilities for two weeks, provided that the booking is made through the “Discover Qatar” website.
4. Vulnerable Groups Eligible for Home Quarantine:
o The following vulnerable group returning from travel (Qatari and Residents) and their immediate family members living in the same household, including their domestic helpers returning with them are eligible for home quarantine:
1. Persons aged 55 years old and above.
2. Recipients of an organ or bone marrow transplant.
3. Patients with hypertension who are on treatment.
4. Patients with conditions that require immune-suppressive treatment.
5. Patients with heart failure or coronary artery disease.
6. Patients with moderate to severe asthma.
7. Cancer patients with metastasis and those on treatment (Chemotherapy or Radiotherapy).
8. Pregnant females (any trimester).
9. Nursing mothers with children aged 0-5 years.
10. Patients with End-Stage Renal Failure (ESRD) or on dialysis.
11. Patients with Chronic Liver Disease (CLD) and decompensation.
12. Patients with lower-limb amputations.
13. People with disabilities where they are dependent on others for their activities of daily living.
14. Children with disabilities and their mothers.
15. Patients with epilepsy and on treatment.
16. Patients with diabetic foot infections.
17. People with deceased first-degree relatives in the last ten days.
18. People with mental health problems on antipsychotic medications and whose condition is aggravated by staying in closed spaces.
19. Diabetic patients on treatment.
20. Minor travelers (below 18 years old) traveling without an accompanied guardian.
Third: Ehteraz App. Policy:
• Travelers returning to the State of Qatar must download and activate the Ehteraz app on their mobiles upon arrival at Hamad International Airport. The following requirements must be met to achieve that:
o A Qatari SIM Card from a local telecom operator (Ooredoo and Vodafone).
o Internet access.
o A smartphone that supports either Android 6 and up or IOS 13.5 and up.
• Download the application on your mobile phone either via Google Play or Apple App Store or from any search engines on the internet.
• Diplomats, holders of MOFA issued administrative cards, and VVIP visitors are exempted.
• Health status on Ehteraz will remain yellow until the completion of the full quarantine course (7 or 14 days) and a negative COVID-19 result is obtained as per the quarantine policy for the travel and entry policy above.
It should be noted that the process of issuing return permits for residents will continue through the “Qatar Portal” website until the need to organize the entry process ends, based on the status of the public health indicators in the State of Qatar and around the world.
For more information, you can contact the relevant entities responsible for each process, and they are as follow:
• For the “Exceptional Entry Permit”, please visit the “Qatar Portal” website, or call on (109) inside Qatar or (+974 44069999) outside Qatar.
• For Hotel Quarantine Package Booking, please visit the “Discover Qatar” website or call on (+974 4423 7999).
• For Quarantine or Ehteraz application, call the hotline (16000) or the Governmental Health Communication Center through the Ministry of Public Health website.