Across the world, the virus has constantly mutated into new strains, with two detected in the UK and South Africa.
Those returning to Qatar from the United Kingdom, Denmark, Netherlands and South Africa can now book a quarantine package from any of the listed hotels on the Discover Qatar website.
Previously, arrivals from the above countries were assigned designated hotels where they were requested to spend their one-week mandatory hotel quarantine.
The latest update came just days after the Ministry of Public Health announced all travellers entering Qatar from countries deemed to be ‘high risk’ must quarantine at designated hotels in Doha.
This would mean no exemptions will be made for the mandatory hotel quarantine policy, as was the case prior to the new measures.
“Building on the previously announced return from travel policy to the State of Qatar, and in the light of the new medical data on COVID-19 in Qatar and the rest of the world, it is decided that any previous exemptions from hotel quarantine shall no longer apply for people returning back to Qatar from countries not on the green list,” the ministry announced.
The new policy will applies to all entries and exits from Qatar from Feb 14, the statement added.
Previously, exemptions were made for a number of cases, including those aged 65 or above, those with serious health conditions, breastfeeding mothers or pregnant women and minors travelling without adult supervision.
Thursday’s new policy is specific to travellers returning from countries that are not on the Green List.
As it stands, a total of 18 countries are listed on Qatar’s Green List. Those returning from one of these countries are required to home quarantine for one week upon arrival.
The updated policies comes amid a surge of daily coronavirus cases in Qatar that has prompted authorities to begin reimposing restrictions to help stem the spread of the infection.