Qatar reviews travel policy during gradual lifting of covid restrictions
The following announcement was made on covid19.moph.gov.qa
Government Communications Office announcement on #Qatar’s travel policy during the gradual lifting of COVID-19 restrictions.
As part of the gradual lifting of restrictions imposed in the State of Qatar as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and based on Qatar’s travel policy announced previously, the travel policies effective on, Saturday 1st August, have been reviewed based on public health indicators in the State of Qatar and around the world.
First - the quarantine policy has been reviewed and the following has been decided:
- Arrivals to the State of Qatar from low-risk countries are required to take a Coronavirus test upon arrival at the airport, and to sign a formal pledge to adhere to quarantine at home for a week, noting that the traveller's status on the Ehteraz application will be yellow, which means that they are required to quarantine. After the week has elapsed, the traveller must go to one of the dedicated health centres to get another Coronavirus test. If the result is positive, the traveller will be transferred to isolation, and if it is negative, the quarantine period ends at the end of that week and the traveller’s status on the Ehteraz application will change to green. It should be noted that the list of low-risk countries will be published on the Ministry of Public Health’s website and announced by the Civil Aviation Authority. The list of low-risk countries will be reviewed every two weeks. If there are accredited COVID-19 testing centres in one of these low-risk countries, obtaining a COVID-free certificate from one of these centres exempts the traveller from taking the test at the airport upon arrival in the country, provided that the date of obtaining the certificate does not exceed 48 hours before traveling.
- Arrivals from countries that are not included in the list of low-risk countries and in which COVID-19 testing centres have been accredited are required to obtain a virus-free certificate from there no more than 48 hours before travelling. The arrivals must also adhere to the home quarantine for a week upon arrival in Doha while also following the policy and conditions applied to arrivals from the low-risk countries mentioned above.
- Arrivals from other countries that are not included in the list of low-risk countries and in which there are no accredited COVID-19 testing centres will be required to quarantine in a hotel at their own expense for one week, provided that hotel accommodation is booked through the "Discover Qatar" website before arriving in the State of Qatar. After the week has elapsed, the ending of the quarantine period will depend on the result of a COVID-19 test. If the result is positive, the traveller will be transferred to isolation, and if it is negative, the person will commit to home quarantine for another week, in which case the status on the Ehteraz application will be yellow and will then change to green after the week has passed.
Second - Qatari citizens and their spouses and children, and permanent residency holders:
- They can travel outside the country and return at any time, while adhering to all the aforementioned procedures and according to the countries of arrival.
- Patients receiving treatment abroad at the expense of the state of Qatar and their registered companions, and employees who are dispatched for work assignments, will be exempt from bearing the cost of the hotel, as the relevant body will cover the costs of the hotel quarantine if the traveller meets the conditions of the hotel quarantine, as explained in the statement.
Third - residents:
- They will be allowed to return to the State of Qatar starting the first of August 2020. Residents’ entry will be organised based on a series of priorities, including public health indicators, the nature of the needs of the various government and semi-government sectors and humanitarian cases, and through submitting return requests for permits via the “Qatar Portal” website based on the above-mentioned priorities.
- The employer shall bear the costs of the quarantine in the dedicated facilities for blue collar workers in the private sector and domestic workers at a nominal cost after obtaining the entry permit.
Fourth - categories eligible for home quarantine:
The Ministry of Public Health has identified the following categories eligible for home quarantine for a week, regardless of the country from which they arrived:
- Those over 55
- Those who have had an organ or spinal cord transplant
- Those who receive immunosuppressive therapy
- Those who suffer from heart disease
- Those who suffer from moderate to severe asthma
- Those who receive cancer treatment
- Pregnant women
- Babysitting mothers with children up to five years-old
- Those who suffer from kidney failure
- Those with chronic liver disease
- Those with lower limb amputation
- Those with disabilities who require support to carry out activities
- Disabled children and their mothers
- Those who suffer from epilepsy and receive treatment
- Those with diabetic foot
- Those with immediate relatives who have died in the 10 days prior to their arrival
- Those receiving treatment for mental and psychiatric illnesses, and people suffering from claustrophobia
- Those who suffer from diabetes and receive treatment
- Those who have high blood pressure
Workers in the various sectors are required to coordinate the dates of travel and return with their employers. Families and workers in the education sector must take the quarantine period into account when planning their return to the State of Qatar in order to avoid absence during the mandatory quarantine period, whether in the designated facilities or at home.
It should also be noted that the process of issuing return permits for residents will be through the "Qatar Portal" website until the need to organise the entry process ends, based on relevant public health indicators.
For more information regarding the process of issuing return permits to the State of Qatar, you can visit the Ministry of Public Health page on COVID-19 or contact the Government Contact Centre via the hotline (109).
List of Countries Classified Low Risk of COVID-19
Which countries can I travel to and undergo home quarantine on return?
To view the list of countries classified as low risk of COVID-19 click here
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. Upon your return to Doha’s Hamad International Airport from low-risk countries where MOPH approved testing centers are not in place (currently only Turkey) you will be tested at the airport and then required to undergo home quarantine for one week (7 days). You will then be tested on day 6 of your home quarantine by arranging a drive through an appointment in one of the designated primary health centers. If the test is negative, you will be released from home quarantine on day 7. If your test result is positive, , you will be placed under appropriate isolation.
Are there any requirements to undertaking home quarantine?
Yes, there are Ten Rules of Home Quarantine that you must adhere to:
1. You must have suitable housing conditions with the availability of your own room and linked bathroom when you confine yourself to your own room and not mix with the rest of the family
2. You must sign an undertaking (including all the family members and household helpers living in the same house) to abide by the rules of home-based quarantine
3. You must watch a short video onboard of the flight before arrival and review the pamphlet on home quarantine.
4. You must apply preventive measures at home to protect others
5. You must have a swab taken on day 6 after your arrival back to Doha at a designated drive through primary healthcare center
6. You must answer the phone calls from the public health team during your home quarantine.
7. You must agree to receive a visit from the public health team every 2 to 3 days.
8. You must inform the public health team if you develop any symptoms (fever, cough, body aches, change in taste or smell)
9. You must download the Ehteraz app.
10. 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’s Hamad International Airport, your Ehteraz status will change to Yellow (Quarantine). If your 6-day test result is negative, your Ehteraz status will change to green on day 7 if you returned from low-risk countries. However, if this test result is positive, your Ehteraz status will change to red. If you returned from other countries, then your health status on Ehteraz will remain yellow (Quarantine) on day 7, and you should continue the remaining 7 days home quarantined (total 14 days).
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 testing center, you will not require a test on arrival at Hamad International Airport. You should present your COVID-19 free certificate to authorities at Hamad International Airport and begin your 7-day period of home quarantine. You will then be tested for COVID-19 on day 6 of your home quarantine by arranging a drive through an appointment in one of the designated primary health centers. If the test is negative, you will be released from home quarantine on day 7. If your test result is positive, the existing protocol for positive cases will be applied.
Is there any documentation that I must complete on my return to Qatar?
Yes. Each traveler must complete and sign a Health Checklist for Returning Travelers form/card that will be distributed among passengers by cabin crew onboard. On arrival back to Doha’s Hamad International Airport, the form/card is submitted to the Medical officer. The form/card includes questions about the individual’s medical history and the rules of home quarantine.
I’ve already booked my travel and hotel quarantine stay – will I get a refund for the hotel quarantine?
If you are traveling to an approved low-risk country and have already booked and paid for a hotel quarantine stay on your return to Qatar, you will be able to get a full refund for the hotel quarantine as you will be eligible for home quarantine. Contact Discover Qatar to request your refund.
Can I undergo home quarantine if I travel to a country that is not on the official low-risk list?
No. If you travel to a country that is not on the low risk approved list, you will be required to undergo a one week period of hotel quarantine. You should book a hotel quarantine stay for one week from the listed hotels on the Discover Qatar website. You will be tested on day 6 of your hotel, quarantine. If the test is negative and you are asymptomatic (displaying no symptoms), you will be able to leave the hotel on day 7 to begin a further period of home quarantine for 7 days (14 days total quarantine). If, after 14 days, you are still asymptomatic, your Ehteraz status will turn green.
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:
1. Aged 55 years old and above.
2. Organ transplant recipients.
3. Patients with hypertension who are on treatment.
4. Bone marrow transplant recipients.
5. Patients with conditions that require immune-suppressive treatment.
6. Patients with heart failure or coronary artery disease.
7. Patients with moderate to severe asthma.
8. Cancer patients with metastasis and those on treatment (Chemotherapy or Radiotherapy).
9. Pregnant females (any trimester).
10. Nursing mothers with children aged 0-5 years.
11. Patients with end-stage renal failure (ESRD) or on dialysis.
12. Patients with CLD (Chronic Liver Disease) and decompensation.
13. Patients with lower-limb amputations.
14. People with disabilities where they are dependent on others for their activities of daily living.
15. Children with disabilities and their mothers.
16. Patients with epilepsy and on treatment.
17. Patients with diabetic foot infections.
18. People with deceased first degree relatives in the last 10 days.
19. People with mental health problems on antipsychotic medications and whose condition is aggravated by staying in closed spaces
20. Diabetic patients on treatment (any HbA1C level).
For Permanent Residents
Request to Issue Return Permit for Resident Click on the link below
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