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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Qatar imposes mandatory quarantine for six countries as India crisis causes alarm


Qatar’s ministry of health imposes further travel restrictions to curb the virus. 

Those travelling back to Qatar from India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Philippines are required to quarantine in a dedicated facility, even if vaccinated, the Ministry of Public Health [MOPH] announced.

The latest measures are a response to India’s alarming Covid-19 crisis that has seen the emergence of a new serious strain in the Asian country, the ministry added.

Those travelling via other countries [transit] are also required to quarantine to ensure the safety of the community.

The updated quarantine rules aim to block the arrival of the strain in Qatar.

Studies show new strains, including the one discovered in India, are more infectious and spread at a higher rate. However, the ministry said more research is currently being conducted to “identify the speed of this spread and the extent of its impact on the lives of those infected with it.”

All passengers coming from mentioned countries are required to undergo a mandatory Covid-19 PCR test at approved testing centres 48 hours before departure. Passengers will not be allowed to board the flight to Qatar without a valid negative PCR certificate, the ministry added.

Another Covid-19 PCR test must also be taken at the quarantine facility within one day of arrival. The test will also be repeated during and before the end of the quarantine period to ensure the person is not carrying the virus before leaving the centre.

Those transiting through Qatar must have the mandatory pre-travel PCR test before landing in the country. Passengers can also have another PCR test for their onward destination at Hamad International Airport if needed with a standard fee of QAR 300/- per test.

Travellers from the six countries can either choose to quarantine for 10 days in a dedicated quarantine facility, or 14 days at the Mekhaines centre.

Home quarantine will not be applicable for those coming back to Qatar from India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, and neither will exemptions for those that have been vaccinated or recovered from the virus.

The ministry of health stressed that it is closely monitoring the situation and taking all necessary measures to ensure the community’s safety. The public has been advised to continue adhering to all precautionary measures to preserve the health and safety of all those in the country.

The measures are effective from Thursday, 29th April at 12am (00:00 hours) Doha time.

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