MoPH revises the list of COVID-19 low-risk countries
As part of the gradual lifting of restrictions imposed in Qatar as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and based on Qatar’s travel policy announced previously, the travel policies effective Saturday, August 15 has been reviewed based on public health indicators in Qatar and around the world.
The list of low-risk countries
While Portugal and Cuba have been added to the list of low-risk countries, Belgium and Andorra Have been removed, which were included on the first list issued last month.
The list is subject to change at the discretion of the MoPH.
For travelers to be considered for the low-risk country exemption, they are required to stay in a low-risk country for a minimum of one week. In the event the traveler stays for less than a week in the low-risk country, they must follow the policies applied to arrivals coming from countries outside the low-risk category, according to the GCO.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Which countries can I travel to and undergo home quarantine on return?
Travelers returning from one of the countries on the list of low-risk countries are eligible for home quarantine. Also, travelers from any country with a COVID19-free certificate from one of the MOPH approved testing centers can be home quarantined.
How long must I undergo home quarantine on my return from a low-risk country?
You must undergo at least a 7-day period of home quarantine following your return to Qatar.
Will I be tested during my period of home quarantine?
Yes. You will be tested at one of the health centers on the 6th day of home quarantine.
Are there any requirements for undertaking home quarantine?
Yes, there are 10 rules of home quarantine that you must adhere to:
- You must have a suitable housing condition with the availability of your own room and linked bathroom
- You must sign an undertaking to abide by the rules of home-based quarantine.
- You must watch a short video on the home quarantine onboard flights and read the Home Quarantine Booklet to understand the process.
- You must apply preventive measures at home to protect others.
- You must have a swab test on day 6 after your arrival back to Doha at one of the PHCC healthcare centers.
- You must answer the phone calls from the public health team during your home quarantine.
- You must agree to receive a visit from the public health team every 2 to 3 days.
- You must inform the public health team if you develop any symptoms (fever, cough, body aches, change in taste or smell)
- You must download the Ehteraz app.
- You should not receive visitors while under home quarantine.
Will my Ehteraz status change when I return from travel?
Yes. Upon arrival back to Doha, you are required to download Ehteraz app on your mobile. Your Ehteraz status will change to Yellow within a few hours from arrival, which means that you are under quarantine.
Do I have to have a COVID-19 test at Hamad International Airport if I have traveled to Turkey and had a test in one of the MOPH approved centers?
No. If you have been tested at an approved MOPH COVID-19 testing center, you will not require a test on arrival at Hamad International Airport. You should present your COVID19-free certificate to the Medical officers at the Airport and begin your 7-days period of home quarantine.
Is there any documentation that I must complete on my return to Qatar?
Yes. Qatari and Permanent Residency holders and their families must complete and sign a Health Assessment Form. The form will be distributed among passengers by cabin crew onboard. On arrival back to Doha's Hamad International Airport, the filled form must be submitted to the Medical team.
I have already booked my travel and hotel quarantine stay – will I get a refund for the hotel quarantine?
If you are arriving from one of the low-risk countries and have booked and paid for a hotel quarantine, you will be able to get a refund as you will be eligible for home quarantine. Contact Discover Qatar for more details.
If I traveled from one of the other countries, can I book directly with a hotel?
No. You will need to make your booking directly through the “Discover Qatar" website for a stay at an approved quarantine hotel.
Can I travel to the State of Qatar without applying for an "Entry Permit" or booking a hotel quarantine?
Residents will not be able to board a flight to Qatar without approved "Entry Permit" and a confirmed 7 days hotel quarantine package if traveling from the other countries. If the residents traveled from a low-risk country, then only "Entry Permit" is required.
On the other hand, Qatari and Permanent Residency holders do not require "Entry Permit." However, 7 days hotel quarantine reservation is needed when traveling from one of the other countries.
Can I undergo home quarantine if I travel to a country that is not on the official low-risk list?
No. If you are back from a country that is not included in the low-risk list, a COVID19-free certificate from one of the MOPH approved COVID-19 testing centers is a must to be home quarantined for 2 weeks. Otherwise, you are hotel quarantined for a week, tested, then home quarantined for a week if tested negative.
Are there any exemptions from hotel quarantine for people returning from countries, not on the low-risk list?
Yes. The following vulnerable groups returning from travel (Qatari and non-Qatari) and their immediate family members living in the same household, including their domestic helpers returning with them, are eligible for home quarantine and not hotel quarantine:
- Aged 55 years old and above.
- Organ transplant recipients.
- Patients with hypertension who are on treatment.
- Bone marrow transplant recipients.
- Patients with conditions that require immune-suppressive treatment.
- Patients with heart failure or coronary artery disease.
- Patients with moderate to severe asthma.
- Cancer patients with metastasis and those on treatment (Chemotherapy or Radiotherapy).
- Pregnant females (any trimester).
- Nursing mothers with children aged 0-5 years.
- Patients with end-stage renal failure (ESRD) or on dialysis.
- Patients with CLD (Chronic Liver Disease) and decompensation.
- Patients with lower-limb amputations.
- People with disabilities where they are dependent on others for their activities of daily living.
- Children with disabilities and their mothers.
- Patients with epilepsy and on treatment.
- Patients with diabetic foot infections.
- People with deceased first-degree relatives in the last 10 days.
- People with mental health problems on antipsychotic medications and whose condition is aggravated by staying in closed spaces
- Diabetic patients on treatment (any HbA1C level).
For more information regarding the process of issuing return permits to Qatar, you can contact the Government Contact Centre via the hotline (109).
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Good day. Hope you are well and fine.
I am very puzzled and curious to understand why Singapore is not classified as a "low risk" country in its covid-19 category whereas countries like Italy which see more serious death and infection rates is classified as "low risk".
Singapore, for the past 2 weeks, has been registering less than 100 infection cases, less than 5 cases in community spread and zero death for past 2 months. It also has the lowest death cases in the world.
Greatly appreciate that you can assist to advice my query.
Thanks and kind regards,