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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Qatar updates Covid-19 travel red list


The updated travel list will be effective from 19 December at 6pm.

Qatar’s ministry of health announced new updates to the travel lists of countries based on current Covid-19 safety standings.

As part of the new updates, 176 countries are now green listed, including most Arab countries (Palestine, Oman, Somalia ,UAE, Yemen ,Kuwait, Iraq, Lebanon ,Libya ,Tunisia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, UAE and Jordan).

Eight countries have been added to the red list, including Algeria, Denmark, Dominica, Germany, Iran, Poland, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom

Jordan, Latvia, Magnolia and Estonia have been moved to the green list.

Earlier this year, the health ministry updated its traffic light categorisation system, scrapping the yellow list entirely and introducing a list of  ‘exceptional red countries’ instead.

Countries that fall under the ‘exceptional red list’ include: Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka ,South Sudan and Sudan under category A .

Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa are classified under category B.

Unlike travellers from ‘red’ listed countries, visitors coming to Qatar from countries under the ‘exceptional red list’ are prohibited to enter the Gulf state if they are unvaccinated.

Vaccinated arrivals from the red listed countries must hotel quarantine for 2 days upon arrival and are required to obtain a negative PCR result 72 hours before their arrival for all age groups.

According to the ministry’s travel and return policy page on its official website, traveller’s who are fully immunised outside Qatar with a vaccine approved by the Ministry of Public Health of Qatar are still required to submit their vaccine certificate and other supporting documents written in both Arabic or English.

Travellers from red list countries who have not completed the necessary vaccination doses can enter Qatar but will have to either home or hotel quarantine based on certain conditions.

Qatar’s citizens and residents who are fully vaccinated and returning from green-listed countries are not required to take a PCR test before departing. However, they will be required to take the test within 36 hours of their arrival in Doha.

Unvaccinated citizens and residents coming from nations in the green list will have to quarantine at home for seven days.

Earlier this year, the ministry of health reduced the price of PCR tests from QAR 300 to QAR 160 to receive results in 12-18 hours.

To obtain results in within 6-8 hours, travellers can get Expedited PCR test for QAR 300 or in less than 3 hours for QAR 660Q.

Last month, Qatar also updated the list of approved doses, adding Sinovac and Sputnik vaccines to its list, which had already included Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson. Now, It has added ​Covaxin​ vaccine as well as Sputnik V.

With the recent detection of Omicron virus in the region and concerns over its mutations, the World Health Organisation has warned countries around the world of a new imposed risk of reinfection.

Qatar has yet to report any infections with the new variant. However, the recent spike in the number of daily covid-19 cases has echoed some concerns among the community on whether authorities will have to re-reimplement new restrictions to limit the spread of infection.

The ministry of public health has continued to raise awareness to help control the spread of the virus, most recently launching a new campaign in collaboration with the FIFA titled “No one is safe, until everyone is safe” to encourage the community to take vaccines.

The latest MoPH figures show 169 new confirmed cases of Covid-19, bumping the total number of active cases up to 2,482.

To date, 190,544 doses of Covid-19 booster vaccines have been administered and the number has continued to increase.

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