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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Qatar announces new COVID restrictions – only vaccinated people allowed in malls


Cabinet of ministers has announced new regulations amid concerns over the highly contagious Omicron variant.

Qatar’s cabinet has announced a set of new restrictions effective from Saturday, January 8, as the country continues to witness a dramatic surge in COVID-19 cases.

As per new regulations, students at schools and kindergartens will continue to adopt online learning until at least 27 January 2022, with all staff required to attend in person.

Meanwhile, wedding parties will still be allowed indoors with a 30 percent capacity and a maximum of 40 people. Outdoor weddings, will be permitted to take place so long as they are held at 50 percent capacity and no more than 80 people attend.

Starting January 8, per new regulations, only fully-vaccinated people will be allowed to enter malls. Restaurants and cafes will remain open at 50 percent capacity indoor and 75 percent capacity outdoor for those with a “Qatar Clean” program certificate. Those without will operate with a 40 percent capacity in open spaces.  

Only vaccinated customers are allowed inside restaurants and cafes, the cabinet added, and children under 12 years old will only be allowed with accompanying vaccinated adults.

Markets will operate on all days of the week, with a capacity not exceeding 75%. Children will be allowed to enter.

Social gatherings and visits in open places in homes and majlis are still allowed with a maximum of 15 vaccinated people outdoor and 10 in closed spaces, not including family members living in the same house.

Gatherings in public parks, beaches, and the Corniche are still allowed with a maximum of 15 people or family members residing in the same house. In addition, individual sports such as walking, running, and cycling remain permissible.

Latest update to Qatar’s COVID travel list announced

All amusement parks, entertainment centers swimming pools, and water parks will remain operational with a capacity not exceeding 75 percent in open spaces and 50 percent indoors. 

Mosques will still be open to the public for all prayers, but those under the age of 12 will not be allowed in.

Meanwhile for those who work, regulations remain the same for both the private and public sectors. This means employers can expect all their workforce to be present in person with no need for remote working protocol to be implemented.

Face-to-face meetings are allowed with the presence of no more than 15 fully-vaccinated people.

Nurseries will remain open with a 50 percent capacity, provided that all workers are fully vaccinated.

Beauty salons and barbershops will remain open with a 50 percent capacity, provided that all employees and clients are fully vaccinated. According to the new restrictions, gyms and spas will be limited to 50 percent capacity, but all changing rooms, saunas, steam rooms, and jacuzzis must be shut.

Museums and public libraries will operate at full capacity, but only vaccinated people will be allowed in.

Cleaning and hospitality companies are still permitted to provide services at full capacity in one or more homes, provided that workers are fully-vaccinated.

Per regulations, all people are still required to wear masks indoors and outdoors, except those exercising in the open air or with specific medical conditions.

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