MoPH announces new updates in Qatar's travel and return policy, effective February 28
Qatar’s travel and return policy has now received a whole set of updates as prescribed by the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH)—all of which are effective from 7 pm, February 28, 2022.
These changes are taken by MoPH and Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) after close monitoring of the ongoing pandemic situation. The new updates, as announced by MoPH on their official website and social media channels, constitute the below changes.
The Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) has announced a set of updates to its COVID-19 Travel and Return Policy. The policy updates come into effect from Monday, 28 February 2022 at 7pm local Qatar time. pic.twitter.com/CwV5XpzbMI— وزارة الصحة العامة (@MOPHQatar) February 24, 2022
Removal of Covid-19 countries’ list
The Ministry has done away with the green and exceptional red lists from the Covid-19 list of countries. The countries will now be subject to either standard health measures or red health measures.
Nine countries including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Georgia, Philippines, Nepal, Jordan and Sri Lanka will be subject to red health measures.
All other countries will be subject to standard health measures.
No PCR test mandate
The earlier requirement that mandated all travelers to the State of Qatar to present a PCR test within 72 hours from the time of travel has also been removed. This update is only for fully vaccinated and Covid-19-recovered residents and citizens only, whether they are arriving from countries subject to red or standard health measures.
However, all visitors traveling to Qatar are still mandated to present a PCR test from their country of origin, which is 48 hours before the time of departure.
Hotel quarantine requirements
Since the Covid-19 countries’ list has been removed, the hotel quarantine mandate is now exempt for recovered and vaccinated residents and citizens on Qatar. They only require a rapid antigen test within 24 hours of their arrival in Qatar.
Unvaccinated and non-immune residents and citizens are subject to five days of hotel quarantine with a PCR test within 24 hours of arrival and a rapid antigen test to be done on Day 5 of quarantine.
Fully vaccinated and recovered visitors coming from a country subject to standard health measures are fully exempt from quarantine. Unvaccinated and non-immune visitors from these countries are allowed to undergo five days of hotel quarantine or home quarantine if they are first-degree relatives (submit proof of relationship and residence).
Fully vaccinated and recovered visitors coming from a country subject to red health measures are supposed to undergo one day of hotel quarantine, and take a rapid antigen test on day one after arrival. Unvaccinated and non-immune visitors from red health measures countries are not granted entry into the State of Qatar.
For the purpose of clarity, MoPH has explained what each immunity status entails for individuals with respect to the travel and return policy to Qatar.
Fully vaccinated: Anyone who has received any of the following Covid-19 approved vaccines by MoPH:
- Pfizer, Moderna, Astrazeneca vaccines: valid for 9 months from 14 days after the second dose or booster dose.
- Jansen and Jansen vaccine: valid for 9 months from 14 days after the first dose or valid for 9 months from 14 days of the second dose.
- Conditionally approved vaccines such as Sinopharm, Sputnik (V), Sinovac, and Cofaxine: valid for 6 months from 14 days after the second dose. Traveler must produce a Serology on Antibody Test lab result within 30 days of testing and if they fail to produce the Serology report from country of origin, they must undergo mandatory five days of hotel quarantine. If these conditionally vaccinated passengers take a MoPH-approved booster dose vaccine, then their immune status is valid for further 9 months from 7 days of booster shot. In such cases, a Serology Antibody test is not required.
Recovered: Anyone who recovered from a Covid-19 infection in Qatar or abroad are considered immune up to 9 months from date of infection. An official laboratory test confirming past infection is necessary.
Unvaccinated/non-immune: Anyone who doesn’t fall into any of the above categories is non-immune.
All of these new updates are to come into force starting February 28 at 7 pm onwards.
The Ministry attributes the implementation of strict precautionary measures for travel and return policy to the control of pandemic within Qatar. So far, the death toll in Qatar has been the lowest as compared to other nations.
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Image and source credit: MoPH