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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Qatar clamps down with more restrictions as Covid-19 cases surge


Authorities on Wednesday announced a new set of restrictions

Following a surge in daily Covid-19 cases, most of which local, Qatar’s Cabinet imposed further restrictions to curb the spread of the virus.

In a press conference on Wednesday, authorities confirmed the number of cases has continued to increase due to lax attitude by the general public as well as the presence of the new UK strain.

More infection among family members have also been recorded and at least 7 people have died in the last week alone.

“We were able to contain the infection rate in February, but the cases recently began increasing and we are now seeing a second wave,” the Head of Infectious Diseases Division at Hamad MEdical Corporation Dr Abdullatif Al Khal confirmed.

Qatar has now recorded more than 500 cases per day and this number is likely to increase in the coming weeks, the health official added, noting a 20% increase in active cases last week.

Dr Al Khal warned the new UK strain is more infectious and can cause more severe symptoms, leading to an increase in hospital admissions.

Here are the new restrictions, effective from Friday March 26th, 2021:

Maximum of five people allowed to gather in open spaces and indoor gatherings prohibited.

All weddings, both indoors and outdoors, are now prohibited until further notice.

Closure of playgrounds and exercise equipment in public parks, beaches and the corniche, with gatherings being restricted to family members residing in the same house or no more than two people.

Only family members residing in the same household are allowed at winter camps, yachts and boat trips.

Malls are now operating at 30% capacity and prayer areas are now closed. Children under the age of 12 are not allowed to enter shopping centres.

Closure of gyms and sports clubs, halting massage services, saunas, steam rooms, Jacuzzi services, and Moroccan and Turkish baths until further notice. Gyms at hotels are only open for guests.

Cinemas now operate at 20% capacity with those below the age of 18 banned from entering. Theatrical performances are also prohibited without prior approval from the Ministry of Public Health.

Closure of amusement and water parks, as well as entertainment centres.

Private educational centres and training centres are only allowed to provide their services remotely.

Nurseries and childcare facilities are allowed to operate at 30% capacity.

Museums and libraries to operate at 30% capacity.

No more than four people are allowed to be in one vehicle, with exception to family members residing in the same house.

Public transports are operating at half capacity.

Driving schools are now closed until further notice.

Sports teams are not allowed to train in groups, whether indoors or outdoors, with the exception of preparatory training for local and international tournaments approved for teams within the bubble system. Those wanting to organise local and international sporting events must obtain prior approval from the Ministry of Public Health.

Beauty salons and barbers to operate at 30% capacity.

Restaurants to operate at 15% capacity, with those who hold a “Qatar Clean” certificate allowed to operate at 50%.

Schools will continue blended learning system at 30% capacity.

Health care facilities to operate at 70% capacity.

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