Phase 1 of gradual lifting of restrictions in Qatar begins

Phase 1 of gradual lifting of restrictions in Qatar begins

By QLNews

After a few months of strict limitations on public activities and the temporary closure of public places to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Qatar yesterday entered the first phase of the gradual lifting of COVID-19 restrictions.

The first phase of Qatar's four-phased plan on easing restrictions sees the opening of some mosques and parks, malls and shopping centers, health facilities, and workplaces. However, all these are subject to strict rules and safety guidelines.

MOSQUES

At least 500 mosques across the country have been opened under Phase 1.

The mosques cover various areas of Qatar including: Abal Heeran, Bin Omran, Bu Sidra, Bu Hamour, Ezgava, Al Salata Al Jadeeda, Umm Saneem, Umm Al Amad, Umm Salal Ali, Umm Salal Mohamed, Gharrafat Al Rayyan, Umm Qarn, Umm Lekhba, Al Luqta, Bane Hajer, Bu Sidra, Al Khor, Al Kheesa, Al Ruwais, Al Rayyan Al Jadeed, Al Sadd, Al Sudan, Al Shahaniyya, Al Azeeziya, Onaiza, Ain Khaled, Al Gharrafa, Madinat Khalifa South, Legataifiya, Al Mirqab, Al Meshaf, Muaither South, Al Wajba, Al Hilal, Al Wakra and Al Wukair.

Worshippers can also find an open mosque nearest to their location on this website.

The mosques will remain closed for Friday prayers during the first phase.

PARKS

Several parks including: Al Wakra Public Park, Al Khor Park, Al Qutaifiyah Park 66, Al Shamal City Park, Al Sailiya Park (Abu Nakhla), Al Dafna Park, Museum Park, Al Rayyan Park have been opened to exercise and sporting activities

The walking tracks at Aspire Park as well as the Katara Hills Promenade were also opened on June 15.

All parks will operate under these timings: from 4:00 am to 9:00 am and from 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm daily.

All those who wish to enter the parks must be mindful of these precautionary guidelines: showing the 'Green' health code on the Ehteraz App, body temperature assessment at the entrance, following the guidelines of security personnel at the parks and co-operating with them, keeping a safe physical distance (3 meters), safely disposing of discarded items at trash cans, and maintaining personal and public hygiene standards within and outside the parks.

Sitting in the parks is not allowed, according to the Ministry of Municipality and Environment.

MALLS AND SHOPPING CENTERS

Phase 1 of the lifting of restrictions also witnessed the opening of some shops at malls across Qatar.

Only stores with a minimum area of 300 square meters have been opened during Phase 1. The number of shoppers inside a complex will, however, be restricted to 30 percent of its capacity.

Children aged below 12 years and individuals above 60 will not be permitted to enter malls and shopping centers during this stage.

While the complexes will follow disinfection and sterilization procedures, it will be mandatory for shoppers and workers to wear masks. Body temperature will be checked at the entrance.

Dining in will not be permitted during this stage.

Shops selling sweets, ice cream, cakes, pastries, honey and dates as well as gaming centers, amusement parks, skateboard arenas, prayer rooms, and cinemas will remain closed, according to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI).

HEALTH FACILITIES

Based on a Cabinet decision last week, private healthcare facilities will be allowed to operate at 40 percent during Phase 1. 

Emergency services will continue.

WORKPLACES

Twenty percent of employees will be allowed at workplaces in the current phase. This will be subject to strict health precautions.

Beginning from Phase 1, any trips out of Doha will be allowed in cases of absolute necessity.

All those who return to Doha will be subjected to hotel quarantine at their own expense for two weeks, or in one of the quarantine buildings allocated by the Ministry of Public Health at their own expense.

MARINE ACTIVITIES

According to the Ministry of Interior (MOI), the use of personal boats will be allowed from this stage. These include private cruisers not licensed for fishing and designated for 'picnic' in addition to jet boats. However, these are to be used at half of their capacity.  

The use of sambuks and personal yachts has also been permitted with a maximum of 10 people allowed.

The boats that are permitted should be used individually or for members of the same family from the same house, in addition to the driver, the Ministry specified.

For any queries, or concerns related to COVID-19 in Qatar, the public can contact a 24/7 hotline set up by the Ministry. The hotline number is 16000 and is toll-free.

Here's everything you need to know about the virus, including ways to protect yourself. 

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Cover Image Credit: for illustrative purposes only
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