Important Updates On 26 April 2021
Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health announced that due to the emergence of a new strain of the “Covid-19” virus in India, and in order to preserve public health in the State of Qatar, it was decided that no exceptions to the hotel quarantine policy will apply and that the following measures should be implemented for travellers coming from:
- Sri Lanka
These conditions apply whether they are travelling through direct flight or via other countries (transit), which include:
1. All passengers whose original flight is from the said countries are subject to mandatory COVID-19 PCR Test is done 48 hours before departure from the testing centers approved by their local health authority. No one can board the flight to Qatar without a valid Negative PCR certificate.
2. All arrivals from those countries must undergo (10) days quarantine in a dedicated quarantine facility (hotel), or (14) days if quarantined at Mekaines facility.
3. Home quarantine criteria is not applicable for travelers coming from these countries, including the exemptions due to vaccination or recovery from a previous infection with the virus during the past six months.
4. All arrivals from those countries must undergo a repeat COVID-19 PCR test at the quarantine facility within one day of arrival. Knowing that the PCR test will be repeated during and before the end of the quarantine period.
5. All passengers transiting through Qatar must have the mandatory pre-travel PCR test as mentioned in point 1, and in case they require another PCR test for their onward destination, they can have it at Hamad International Airport on a standard fee of QAR 300/- per test.
On its social media account, the ministry stated that “the measures are effective from Thursday, April 29 at 12 am (00:00 hours) Doha time.”
Travel for policy for travellers from other countries
The below policies will apply only to travellers from countries other than the six listed above. These are not applicable to travellers from India, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Philippines.
As per the announcement on 22 April 2021, it is mandatory for all travellers to undergo a COVID-19 examination 72 hours before arrival to Qatar. Also, travellers who were COVID-19 positive in the last 6 months and have fully recovered now are eligible for quarantine exemption. More details are available below.
From 29th November 2020, the quarantine period for travellers to Qatar is for one week (7 days) only after arrival in the country, regardless of the country of origin. However, the quarantine period for those who use shared quarantine (Mekaines Motel) facilities is two weeks (14 days).
This article explains everything you need to know about Qatar quarantine rules including eligibility for home quarantine, rules for home quarantine, the procedure to be followed etc.
Qatar Quarantine Rules: Eligibility for Home Quarantine
The following groups of citizens and residents returning to Qatar from countries not included on the COVID-19 Green List (low-risk countries) are exempted from the hotel quarantine, and will be subject to home quarantine:
1. Exemption for Travellers From COVID-19 Green List Countries
Travellers returning from one of the countries on the COVID-19 Green List are eligible for home quarantine. Below is the Green List of countries classified as low-risk (as of 2 April 2021):
- Brunei Darussalam
- Maldives (Safe Travel Bubble Package only)
- New Zealand
- South Korea
2. Exemption for Fully Vaccinated Travellers
Fully vaccinated people are exempt from quarantine requirements following travel abroad. The exemption will be valid for six months starting 14 days after the second dose. Here is our detailed guide on how to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Qatar.
Conditions for full exemption:
- 14 days must have passed after receiving the second dose of the vaccine before returning to Qatar and a negative PCR test is required on return to Qatar following travel.
- The validity of the vaccine to grant quarantine exemption is valid for a period of six months, starting 14 days after the second dose.
- Individuals may travel any time after receiving the second dose.
People who have received the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Qatar and have not completed 14 days from the date of the second dose are subject to home quarantine 7 days or until they complete the duration of 14 days following the second dose, whichever is shorter.
Those who have received vaccinations outside Qatar, whether or not they have completed the 14 days after receiving the second dose, are not exempted from the hotel quarantine unless the vaccine they received is approved by the Ministry of Public Health.
|Fully vaccinated from Qatar (2 doses taken + 14 days have passed after the second dose)||No quarantine; Only testing required upon arrival|
|Vaccinated from Qatar (2 doses taken + 14 days not passed after the second dose)||Home quarantine for 7 days or until 14 after the second dose (whichever is shorter)|
|Fully vaccinated outside Qatar (vaccine not approved by MOPH)||Hotel quarantine required|
|Fully vaccinated outside Qatar (vaccine approved by MOPH)||Exempt from hotel quarantine|
3. Exemption for Those Who Recovered from COVID-19
22 APRIL 2021 UPDATE: According to the latest announcement from MOPH, travellers who were previously infected are also eligible for an exemption if they meet the following criteria:
- The travel should be within six months of the first positive result of the COVID-19 test.
- The traveller should have completed the mandatory quarantine after being infected.
- There should be laboratory-confirmed result to show that he is fully recovered.
- The traveller should produce all necessary medical documents to prove the infection and recovery. Recovered persons can obtain an extract to confirm prior infection from their health center.
- The traveller should not show any new symptoms of infection during travel.
- The traveller should also undergo a COVID-19 test to rule out an infection without symptoms.
18 APRIL 2021 UPDATE: Information about the below exemptions (No. 4 to No. 8) has been recently removed from the MOPH website. However, there is no official announcement about any changes to the policy. Moreover, these exemptions are still published on the Discover Qatar website. Hence we request you to kindly contact MOPH directly at [email protected] to confirm that you meet the above criteria and that you are exempt from quarantine.
4. Exemption for Children Whose Parents are Vaccinated
Children under the age of 18 who have not received the COVID-19 vaccine, whether returning from travelling alone or with their parents, will be subject to home quarantine for 7 days, provided that both parents have received the Covid-19 vaccine.
However, this exemption does not include cases where one of the parents have not received the vaccine, and therefore they should be subject to hotel quarantine. Only members of the family who meet the vaccination requirements may choose home quarantine if they wish.
|Children under 18 with both parents fully vaccinated||Home quarantine|
|Children under 18 with only one parent fully vaccinated||Hotel quarantine|
|Children under 18 with no parents fully vaccinated||Hotel quarantine|
5. Exemption for Persons Aged 75 and over
Persons aged 75 years and over, including one escort (only those who lives with them in the same residence), are subject to home quarantine.
6. Exemption for Pregnant Women
Pregnant women returning to the country with their husbands or a relative living with them in the same residence who received the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine are eligible for home quarantine.
7. Exemption for Breastfeeding Mothers and Infants
Breastfeeding mothers and their infants (up to 2 years of age) returning to the country with their husbands or a relative living with them in the same residence who received the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine are eligible for home quarantine.
8. Exemption for Patients Sent for Treatment Abroad by MOPH
Patients sent for treatment abroad by the Ministry of Public Health according to their health condition, including one escort only living with them in the same residence are eligible for home quarantine.
Rules for Home Quarantine
- You must have a suitable housing condition (given below) with the availability of your own room and linked bathroom.
- You must sign an undertaking to abide by the rules of home-based quarantine.
- You must watch a short video on the home quarantine measures and read the Home Quarantine Booklet.
- You must apply preventive measures at home to protect others.
- You must have a swab test on day 6 after your arrival back to Doha at one of the PHCC healthcare centres.
- You must answer the phone calls from the public health team during your home quarantine.
- You must agree to receive a visit from the public health team every 2 to 3 days.
- You must inform the public health team if you develop any symptoms (fever, cough, body aches, change in taste or smell)
- You must download the Ehteraz app.
- You should not receive visitors while under home quarantine.
Housing Conditions for Home Quarantine
The house should have a separate room with an ensuite bathroom. If the house is not suitable for home quarantine, then the individual should book one of the hotel quarantine packages via the “Discover Qatar” website.
The housing condition will not be checked; however, the individual will sign a Home Quarantine undertaking that their house condition complies with the requirements.
Period for Home Quarantine
You must undergo at least seven days of home quarantine following your return to Qatar. The quarantine period for those who use shared quarantine facilities will be for two weeks.
Individuals under home quarantine will receive SMS as a reminder to visit one of the PHCC healthcare centres for testing. If they did not show up, it will be followed by a phone call from the Healthcare team. No answer or show-up to the appointment for a valid reason will be considered as non-compliance, and legal action will be taken.
On day 6 of the quarantine, the traveller must go to one of the dedicated health centres to get another Coronavirus test. The Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) has urged patients to call the helpline number 107 for appointment bookings. The helpline service is available in five languages.
If the test result is positive, the traveller will be transferred to isolation, and if it is negative, the quarantine period ends at the end of that week and the traveller’s status on the Ehteraz application will change to green.
Qatar Quarantine Rules: Hotel Quarantine
All travellers arriving in Qatar will need to book and pay for one of the approved quarantine hotel packages before boarding the flight to Qatar.
You will need to make your booking directly through the “Discover Qatar” website for a stay at an approved quarantine hotel.
Discover Qatar’s Welcome Home hotel quarantine package prices start from QR 2,300. Included are three meals per day on a full board basis, a PCR test and one-way transfers from Hamad International Airport upon arrival. These cost-effective prices allow guests to choose from over 60 hotels that suit their budget across 3-star, 4-star and 5-star properties while 2 and 3 bedroom villas are available for larger families.
A maximum of 2 adults and 1 child 6 years or under may share a room. You can share a room with another passenger (need not be a family member) arriving at the same time.
FEBRUARY 2021 UPDATE: Arrivals from UK, Denmark, Netherlands and South Africa now have access to all red zone quarantine hotels. There would be no special hotels designated for them.
Quarantine Hotel Cancellations and Refunds
According to the Discover Qatar website, once a booking is made, amendments are not allowed. Cancellations are allowed up to 21 days before the arrival date of your quarantine booking, including full refunds. All cancellations inside 21 days are subject to 100% cancellation charges*.
If you confirm your booking within 21 days of arrival it is non-refundable and the dates cannot be amended*. Please, therefore, do not book your quarantine package until you are sure that the details are correct.
*The following exceptions to the above apply:
- The flight was cancelled or changed by the airline
- Compassionate grounds, supported by some documentary evidence, such as a positive PCR result preventing travel
- Exemption from quarantine granted upon arrival in Qatar
- If you have received both doses of vaccination within Qatar and are no longer required to undertake hotel quarantine, you must advise Discover Qatar within 48 hours of arrival
Mekaines Motel Quarantine
These are shared motel accommodations for domestic staff, company sponsored and other workers.
Mekaines Motel is a budget motel providing comfortable rooms and is located in Alsheehaniya, Mekaines area on Salwa Road. Rooms feature a shower with hot and cold water, amenities and a kettle. There is no wi-fi or internet access point available at the accommodation. The rates are cheaper than hotel quarantine, but the quarantine period is 14 days instead of seven days in the hotel.
This package should only be booked for groups of employees, or by individuals with Mekaines / Mukaynis as the ‘Type of Quarantine’ listed on their Exceptional Entry Permit.
Cost of accommodation starts from QAR 105 per day. This includes 3 meals a day, breakfast, lunch and evening meal, plus one-way coach transport from Hamad International Airport to the accommodation. The coach will operate throughout the day, and may involve a wait at the airport.
An additional insurance premium will be required in case of any extension to the quarantine period. This amount will be calculated at QAR 700 per person in shared accommodation, QAR 1400 for single accommodation, paid for 20% of the individuals on the booking (at the higher rate if there is a mix of shared and single rooms). If this is not used, it will be repaid in full.
Effective from 23 November, for arrivals from 1 December, a supplement of QAR 235 per person is payable to guarantee access to a mobile phone and SIM card on arrival at Hamad International Airport. This is to ensure access to the Ehteraz App on arrival, which is a mandatory requirement for entry into Qatar. If mobile and/or SIM is not required, a refund can be requested for any unused supplement amount.
Steps for Booking Hotel Quarantine
- Visit Qatar Portal to request approval for the Exceptional Entry Permit. For employees, the request should be made by their employer. Qatar residents who travel out of the country from 29 November 2020 will receive automatic approval for an entry permit. Here is the complete guide for automatic entry permits.
- Once you receive the entry permit, check the “Type of Quarantine” stated on your certificate. If this states “Hotel” then you must book a quarantine package hotel from Discover Qatar *
- Check availability for your flight on the planned date.
- Book your quarantine package hotel for the same date.
- Book your flight tickets.
- Ensure you have copies of your Exceptional Entry Permit and your Discover Qatar Hotel Voucher, as well as your flight documents when you check-in for your flight. If you cannot produce these documents, you may not be able to board your flight. Dates for your arrival and your hotel check-in must match.
- You can also print and fill this health assessment form in advance to avoid delays at the airport.
*For automatic entry permits, the type of quarantine will not be mentioned in the permit. You should book a hotel unless you are travelling from a country included in the Green list or you are eligible for exemption.
Important Points To Consider
Once a booking is confirmed, amendments to quarantine hotel packages cannot be made. Once you have made your booking it is non-refundable and the dates cannot be amended. Please therefore do not book your quarantine package until you are sure that the details are correct.
The only exception to this condition is if your airline cancels your flight, in which case you will be eligible to amend the dates of your booking once only. Any new quarantine package booked will be subject to availability and the daily arrival limit. Any differential on the package prices will be payable.
Please also be aware that if you qualify to self-quarantine at home, if your preference is to book a self-funded quarantine package in a hotel, this is permitted.
Qatar Quarantine Rules: Testing for COVID-19
Travellers returning from one of the COVID-19 Green Listed Countries must be tested upon arrival at the airport and sign the Undertaking for Home Quarantine for a week. If the traveller is a minor, their official guardian should sign the Undertaking.
COVID-19 Test Before Coming to Doha
22 APRIL 2021 UPDATE: Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health has made it mandatory for all travellers coming to the State of Qatar to undergo a COVID-19 test at a medical centre accredited by the local Ministry of Health in the country they come from, within 72 hours before their arrival in Qatar, with effect from 25th April 2021. Some categories will have a COVID-19 test on arrival at the airport, as determined by the Ministry of Public Health.
COVID-19 Test After Home / Hotel Quarantine
Those in quarantine has to be tested at one of the health centres on the 6th day. If the test result is positive, the individual is isolated and their health status on Ehteraz will change to red. If it is negative, then the quarantine period is completed by the end of the seventh day and their health status on Ehteraz will change to green.
Ehteraz Status During Quarantine
- Travelers returning to the State of Qatar must download and activate the Ehteraz app on their mobiles upon arrival at Hamad International Airport. The following requirements must be met to achieve that:
- A Qatari SIM Card from a local telecom operator (Ooredoo and Vodafone).
- Internet access.
- A smartphone that supports either Android 6 and up or IOS 13.5 and up.
Your health status on Ehteraz will change to Yellow within a few hours from arrival, which means that you are under quarantine.
Your Ehteraz status will remain Yellow for the full duration of the Quarantine, even if you do the swab test on day 6, and your result is negative, your Ehteraz will remain Yellow until you have completed the full quarantine course, which is the midnight of the last day of quarantine.
Note that if you do your swab test earlier than your scheduled day, even if the result is negative, your health status on Ehteraz will remain Yellow, and you will need to repeat the swab test.
Qatar Quarantine Helpline Numbers
For more information, you can contact the relevant entities responsible for each process, and they are as follow:
- For the “Exceptional Entry Permit”, please visit the “Qatar Portal” website, or call on (109) inside Qatar or (+974 44069999) outside Qatar.
- For Hotel Quarantine Package Booking, please visit the “Discover Qatar” website or call on (+974 4423 7999).
- For Quarantine or Ehteraz application, call the hotline (16000) or the Governmental Health Communication Center through the Ministry of Public Health Website.
Information for Qatar Airways Travellers
For the safety of all passengers, Qatar Airways requires passengers traveling from certain gateways to present a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR medical test result when checking in.
Additionally, many countries around the world have specific regulations in place for arriving and departing passengers in order to limit the spread of COVID-19. Please ensure that you understand how all these travel requirements affect you when planning your trip. More information is available on the Qatar Airways website.
Please see MOPH website for latest updates. As the rules can be revised at any time, we strongly recommend that you check this regularly for any changes that may affect your plans.
Copyright © DohaGuides.com – Full or partial reproduction of this article is prohibited.
Information source: Ministry of Public Health, Ministry of Interior, Qatar Airways
FAQ on Qatar Quarantine Rules
Can children be exempted from hotel quarantine?
Children under 18 with both the parents fully vaccinated can opt for home quarantine.
Will I be tested during my period of home quarantine?
Yes. You will be tested at one of the health centers on the 6th day of home quarantine.
Will my Ehteraz status change when I return from travel?
Yes. Upon arrival back to Doha, your health status on Ehteraz will change to Yellow within a few hours from arrival, which means that you are under quarantine.
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