Qatar has announced a new travel and return policy that will go into effect starting 7pm on Wednesday.
Both GCC and EU citizens and residents who are either fully vaccinated or recovered can now use their country’s COVID-19 tracking applications in Qatar, according to the Ministry of Public Health’s latest update. This means that they will no longer have to complete the mandatory Ehteraz pre-travel registration.
Valid GCC health applications:
- Bahrain: BeAware
- Saudi Arabia: Tawakkalna
- Kuwait: Shlonik
- Oman: Tarassud
- UAE: Al Hosn
As for EU nationals and residents, the Union’s COVPass application will be accepted in Qatar.
Taking a PCR test before travelling to Qatar is now also optional for GCC and EU residents and nationals alike, unless the departure country is on the Red Health Measures list. For travellers who choose to opt out of taking a PCR test, they must have a rapid antigen test done at an authorised medical centre within 24 hours of arrival in Qatar.
According to the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH), the COVID-19 vaccine immunity is valid for 12 months after taking the booster shot. As for those who have recovered from the virus, their immunity is also valid for 12 months.
For the MOPH said the validity of Covid-19 immunity after receiving the Covid-19 vaccine booster dose or following recovery from infection has been extended to 12 months, in line with its recent announcement in this regard.
Individuals who do not reside in Qatar and are non-immune or vaccinated must still register via the country’s pre-travel registration system.
The update does not apply to travellers coming from countries listed under the Red Health Measures list. The countries on the list are Bangladesh, Egypt, Georgia, India, Jordan, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines and Sri Lanka.
Easing of travel restrictions
Qatar’s Abu Samra border saw an influx of visitors coming from neighbouring countries after the illegal air, land and sea blockade on Qatar was lifted.
Travellers entering via the border reported long waiting hours, and confusions over Qatar’s now-scrapped COVID-19 travel restrictions, and complaints took Twitter by storm as people called on authorities to ease travel restrictions for GCC citizens.
Consequently, this update comes as a part of a governmental effort to support the smooth entry of travellers into the country.