The Ministry of Public Health announced a new policy for travellers returning to Qatar, as cases continue to increase in the country.
All travellers entering Qatar from from countries deemed to be ‘high risk’ must quarantine at specified hotels in Doha, the Ministry of Public Health announced on Thursday.
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 apply to all entries and exits from Qatar from Sunday, 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.
Thursday’s updated policy 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.
Qatar’s health ministry confirmed 448 new COVID-19 cases in Qatar on Thursday, bumping the number of current active cases to 7,920 – the highest in months. To date, 254 coronavirus deaths have been recorded in the country.
In response to a rising number of daily cases, the Supreme Committee for Crisis Management announced the reimposition of some restrictions in a bid to contain the surge in cases.
On Wednesday, health authorities officially authorised Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use following similar approvals by the United States, Canada, the European Union, the United Kingdom and Switzerland.