Those who have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will be exempt from mandatory quarantine.
Fully vaccinated people now exempt from quarantine requirements following travel abroad and following exposure to a COVID-19 positive case.
At least two weeks must pass after the second dose is administered, the Ministry of Public Health said, noting a negative PCR test is required upon arrival in Qatar.
“The quarantine exemption is valid for a period of three months, starting 14 days after the second dose, and this may be extended in the future with the availability of more clinical evidence,” a ministry statement said.
Those vaccinated in other countries must still quarantine.
The announcement was made on Thursday, just a day after the Head of Vaccination at Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) Dr Soha Al Bayat said more than 100,000 vaccinations have been administered to people in Qatar.
“I’m happy to say that more than 100,000 have been taken the vaccine; there is high demand for it. And we have reached at least 50% of the target group,” said Bayat in an Instagram live session.
It is unclear whether the 100,00 included the both doses of the vaccine, or just one. Doha News has reached out to Hamad Medical Corporation but has yet to receive a response.
Qatar launched its vaccine programme on December 23.
Last month, official figures showed more than 17,000 COVID-19 vaccinations were administered, some one month after the shots first arrived in the country.
While the vaccination effort continues, Qatar has moved into its second priority group for those eligible to receive the dose. These groups are determined by the level of potential risk, and are to be vaccinated in stages throughout the year.
The first group to receive the vaccine comprised of those over 70, healthcare workers, and those with chronic illnesses. Since then, authorities have lowered the threshold for those wanting to take the vaccine to those above the age of 60.
The Ministry of Public Health confirmed a vaccination certificate will be provided 7 days after a person receives both doses.
Rise in cases
Qatar has recently witnessed a surge of COVID-19 cases that prompted the introduction of new restrictions to fight a potential second wave.
On Thursday, Doha reported 462 COVID-19 cases, bumping the total number of current active cases to 9,569. Despite the concerning increase in coronavirus cases, Qatar has had a COVID-19 fatality rate of 0.14%, one of the lowest in the world.
So far, only the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines are available, however Qatar has approved of the Moderna vaccine for emergency use. The first Moderna shipment is expected soon, authorities said.
Moderna will be the second vaccine to be administered in Qatar following the arrival of doses from the Pfizer-BioNTech, which marked the beginning of the country’s vaccination campaign.
The US-based drug manufacturer revealed in November that its vaccine showed 94.5% effectiveness. During the trial phase, Moderna tested the vaccine on 30,000 people in the US, half of whom received two doses four weeks apart.