The decision was based on local and international epidemiological factors regarding the spread of COVID-19.
Residents currently in Qatar with plans to travel and return to the country can easily obtain an Exceptional Entry Permit (EEP) at any time, the Government Communications Office (GCO) announced on Thursday.
The GCO’s statement said effective Sunday November 29, residents currently in Qatar can print the EEP, which is now automatically approved, through the Ministry of Interior’s (MoI) website without the need to submit a request online, as per earlier measures.
However, the new automatic EEP service does not apply to residents that have already travelled out of Qatar. Residents currently abroad must still apply for the EEP as usual via the Qatar Portal website.
As for the post-travel quarantine, residents eligible for the automatic EEP are required to home quarantine for only one week upon their return.
“The quarantine period will be for one week only after arrival in the country, regardless of destination. Home quarantine will be applied to those coming from countries on the Ministry of Public Health’s Green List,” the GCO statement said.
“Hotel quarantine is mandatory for those coming from countries that are not included in the Green List. The quarantine period for those who use shared quarantine facilities will be two weeks. The decision is based on national and international epidemiology statistics,” it added.
According to the GCO’s statement, PCR tests will be conducted for returnees on their first day of their arrival in Doha. A second test will later be required six days later.
The health status on Ehteraz for those that have returned to Qatar will remain yellow until the end of the seventh day from the date of arrival.
While Qatar has outperformed other countries in its coronavirus management measures, complaints have been raised over the contentious EEP, which many have blamed for their inability to return to their homes and jobs.
Long waiting times and rejections for EEP applications have forced many to lose their jobs while also facing separation from their families, including parents who are unable to see their children.
Read also: Qatar taken off UK’s quarantine list
In August, it was estimated that more than 250,000 residents were abroad and waiting to come back to Qatar, and while some have returned, many have yet to hear back from authorities.
Doha News has previously reached out for a statement from the government regarding the EEP, but got no response.