In dealing with COVID-19, most countries in the post-vaccine world have established quarantine protocols for individuals, whether residents or visitors, entering the country. The State of Qatar (“Qatar”) is no different, establishing procedures to ensure the good health, well-being and protection of the population, by taking action to prepare for, monitor, respond to and recover from any outbreak of Covid-19. Here’s what you need to know about restrictions that apply in Qatar:
Ministry of Public Health (“MOPH”) Rules
Qatar has lifted the travel restriction and permits all Qatari citizens and residents to travel abroad and also permits visitors to enter Qatar, provided they adhere to the MOPH’s Travel and Return Policy. The policy provides for the pre-electronic registration through an Ehteraz is optional for Qatari citizens and residents, but mandatory for visitors who are required to register at least (12) hours before travel in order to obtain a travel permit.
Qatar has color classified countries green; yellow; and red according to the level of risk in each country. This classification assists Qatar to determine the actions required from the individuals entering Qatar. For example, unvaccinated citizens and residents who will travel abroad to a country classified as yellow or red, will be required to book a hotel quarantine package before traveling.
Approved vaccines in Qatar
MOPH’s position is that the immunity period for the vaccinated individuals is (12) months, commences 14 days from the date of the second dose. The immunity period may ultimately be extended based on any new data.
Qatar has approved a number of vaccines – namely: Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Jansen / Johnson & Johnson (only one dose) as approved vaccines. Individuals who have taken one of the approved vaccines must submit the original vaccination certificate which should include an official logo or seal of the vaccination authority.
It is important to note that for those individuals who are fully vaccinated, it may be possible to enter Qatar without quarantining. If a fully vaccinated traveler with 14 days after the last dose arrives in Qatar from a green listed country, they will not be required to quarantine provided that they have all required documents needed to enter Qatar. This includes: (i) a PCR test; (ii) an official certificate of the vaccination; and (iii) register with Ehteraz (it is possible that such registration may require additional documentation upon filing).
Notably, Qatar classifies Sinopharm vaccine as a conditionally approved vaccine. For those travelers who are fully vaccinated with the Sinopharm vaccine, they are required to undergo an antibody test upon arrival. If the result is positive, they shall be exempt from the quarantine requirements; if the result is negative, the individual will be required to do PCR test upon arrival and must undergo quarantine based on the classification of the departure country.
The MOPH classifies individuals into groups. Group A includes Qatari citizens and residents and further include GCC citizens. Group B includes family visitors, businessmen, tourists including GCC residents (i.e., non-G.C.C. nationals). Group A travelers are exempted from quarantine if they have received the required doses of a vaccine approved by the MOPH (listed above), provided that at least 14 days have passed from receiving the second dose if the vaccine requires two doses. Travelers from Group A who are not fully vaccinated or who are fully vaccinated without 14 days passing from the date of receiving the prescribed doses, are required to quarantine according to classification of the country of departure (green, yellow or red), and they must book the hotel quarantine package through “Discover Qatar” website if they come from a yellow list country (7 days) or a red list country (10 days).
On the other hand, individuals from Group B will only be allowed to enter Qatar if they were fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine, and 14 days have been passed since the last dose or fully recovered from COVID-19.
Further, those travelers from Group B who are fully vaccinated will be exempted from the quarantine process. If, however, a fully vaccinated traveler arrives with unvaccinated children aged (0-11), all will be exempted from the quarantine if they come from green listed countries, but if arriving from a yellow listed country, they will be required for a hotel quarantine for a (7) days. Unvaccinated children who are traveling from red listed countries are not allowed to enter Qatar.
Moreover, travelers from Group A who are fully vaccinated and arrives with unvaccinated children aged (0-11), all are exempted from the quarantine if they come from green listed countries, but if the unvaccinated children aged (12-17) they will be required for a home quarantine for a (5) days. However, vaccinated travelers traveling with unvaccinated children aged (0-17) will be required for a home quarantine for a (7) days if they are coming from yellow country and for a (10) days if they are coming from red country.
Finally, unvaccinated children travelling with their vaccinated parents who are GCC citizens but do not have a Qatari residence card (QID) are required to a hotel quarantine for a (5) days if there are coming from green list countries, and for a (7) days if they are coming from a yellow list country, and for a (10) days if they are coming from a red list country.
The purpose of classifying the countries is to manage the level of COVID risk associated with each country. For example, Qatar has classified Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka as countries with high risk, and as such they are categorized as red. Individuals coming from the aforementioned countries are subject to a two-day hotel quarantine, even though they are fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19, and they are allowed to leave the hotel on the second day if the result of the PCR test is negative. However, those individuals who are not vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 are subject to a hotel quarantine for a period of 10 days.
For a full list of countries as of 23 August 2021 please see the following links
* Green List Countries: https://covid19.moph.gov.qa/EN/Documents/PDFs/GREEN-COUNTRIES-ENG.pdf
* Yellow List Countries: https://covid19.moph.gov.qa/EN/Documents/PDFs/YELLOW-COUNTRIES-ENG.pdf
* Red List Countries: https://covid19.moph.gov.qa/EN/Documents/PDFs/RED-COUNTRIES-ENG.pdf
Should you have any questions regarding the quarantine and entry to Qatar, please do feel free to contact us.
About Al-Ansari & Associates
Al-Ansari & Associates is a leading law firm based in Doha, the State of Qatar. Being the fastest growing firm in the State of Qatar, we are proud to have supported both local and international clients with multi jurisdictional qualified lawyers. The firm’s practice is focused on core areas such as corporate and commercial, Banking and Finance, regulatory and compliance, Labour and Employment, TMT, Intellectual Property and Copyright, Real Estate and Contraction, Energy and Natural Resources, Transport and Infrastructure and Dispute Resolution. Al-Ansari & Associates provides its clients legal expertise with international standards.