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Friday, October 22, 2021

Qatar drops yellow list, slashes PCR test costs in latest travel policy updates


The updated policies will be effective from 6 October at 2pm arrival time.

Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health [MoPH] updated the country’s travel policies on Sunday, amid latest steps towards loosening coronavirus restrictions.

The health ministry updated the categorisation of countries in the Green and Red lists, removing the yellow list entirely and introducing a secondary Exceptional Red Countries list instead.

Per the new regulations, Qatar’s citizens and residents who are fully vaccinated and returning from green-listed countries are no longer required to take a PCR test before departing the country. However, they will be required to take the test within 36 hours of their arrival in Doha.

The MoPH also reduced the price of PCR tests from QAR 300 to QAR 160 instead.

Qatar also updated the list of approved doses, adding Sinovac and Sputnik vaccines to its list, which already included Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson.

“The purpose of these changes is to ease the process of travel and return to the State of Qatar in light of the noticeable decrease in Covid-19 positive cases in recent times, with full commitment to prevention measures,” said the MoPH in a statement.

No masks outdoors: Qatar loosens Covid-19 restrictions as cases decline


Travellers coming from Red and Exceptional Red listed countries are required to sign an Undertaking and Acknowledgment Form before arrival to Qatar.

The form can be downloaded from the MoPH’s website, Ehteraz app, and airlines’ ticketing process.

Those coming from Green List countries are exempt from this procedure.

Furthermore, travellers can now activate their Ehteraz apps using an international SIM card and non-residents must register online through the online registration platform at least three days before arrival.

Travellers who are fully vaccinated outside of Qatar with the approved vaccines are still required to submit the original vaccine certificate and other required documents in Arabic or English.

The name on the certificate must be identical to the one on the passport. The dates that the doses were taken, name of the vaccine and the serial number of the vaccine batch must also be on the document.

Exceptional Red List

Countries that fall under the Exceptional Red List include: India, Philippines, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Indonesia, Kenya, and Sudan​​​.

Fully vaccinated Qatar citizens and residents aged 12 and above coming from Exceptional Red List are required to hotel quarantine for only two days. The same applies to children aged 11 year and above who are accompanied by their fully vaccinated parents or family members.

They are also required to obtain a negative PCR result 72 hours before their arrival in Qatar and conduct a PCR within 36 hours of arriving at the quarantine hotel.

Non-vaccinated citizens and residents from Exceptional Red List countries will be subject to hotel quarantine for seven days.​ They must also obtain a negative result 72 hours before arrival and a PCR test on the sixth day of quarantine to facilitate their release on the seventh day if the result is negative.

Those who have been vaccinated outside of the country by MoPH-approved vaccines will require a Serology Antibody test at the quarantine hotel for vaccinated persons outside Qatar with one of the vaccines approved by the Ministry of Public Health.

As it stands, unvaccinated visitors from the Exceptional Red List are denied entry to the country.

On Sunday, Qatar recorded 79 new infections, raising the number of active cases to 1,148. So far, 605 people have died of Covid-19 in Qatar.

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