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Saturday, January 29, 2022

France drops quarantine for vaccinated travellers from Qatar


Fully-vaccinated citizens and residents of Qatar now just require a European visa to enjoy a trip to France with no quarantine restrictions. 

France will reopen its borders on June 9 for travellers from Doha who are fully-vaccinated and hold a valid visa, amid a noticeable drop in Covid-19 cases in both countries. 

“As of 9 June, Qatari or third-country travellers from Qatar, if they already have a fully valid visa and are otherwise fully vaccinated, may re-enter France without quarantine upon arrival,” the French Embassy announced in a post on Twitter, adding that it is working to reopen visa services in the coming weeks.

“Upon departure from Qatar, presentation of evidence of a complete vaccination cycle – 2 weeks after the second injection of Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, 4 weeks after the injection of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, 2 weeks after single injection for those with a history of Covid-19 is required,” the embassy said.

Additionally, arrivals will be required to show a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours, or a negative antigenic test no more than 48 hours, prior to arriving.

“For those who do not already have a fully valid visa, the embassy is working to reopen the visa service in the coming weeks, with no date at this stage,” it added.

Other European countries are expected to make similar announcements soon.

Read also: Vaccinated GCC citizens exempt from hotel quarantine in Qatar

Qatar’s daily reported Covid-19 cases have been drastically decreasing in recent weeks, with health officials assuring that the country is on the verge of ending its second wave.

Last week, the ministry of public health has been reporting less than 200 total cases daily—marking a 70 percent dip since April of this year. On Sunday, authorities reported only 103 new cases, 69 of which were community cases while the rest were returning travellers.

The number of acute hospital admissions and those requiring ICU has also drastically decreased in recent weeks, lifting a huge pressure from the health sector across the country.

With fewer people now requiring hospital admissions for virus symptoms, Al Wakra and Ras Laffan Covid-19 hospitals have now discharged their last coronavirus patients and returned normal services.

The recent drop in numbers can also be attributed to the availability of more vaccines as well as the opening of more vaccination centres, which allowed the country to exponentially ramp up its national inoculation campaign.

So far, 66.6% of Qatar’s eligible population have taken at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and over 1 million people in Qatar are now fully vaccinated. According to statistics issued by the ministry of health, over 2.6 million vaccine doses have been administered since the start of the vaccination campaign.

In early May, Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health [MoPH] and Ministry of Commerce & Industry introduced a four-phase plan for the gradual lifting of restrictions following a significant drop in daily Covid-19 infections among the community.

The new regulations include allowing five vaccinated individuals to gather indoors, 10 to gather outdoors, and the opening of salons and barbers at a 30% capacity only for vaccinated staff and customers.

Phase two of the lifting of restrictions is expected on June 18.

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