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Qatar to open borders to foreign travellers from 1st August

23 July 2020

Qatar will open its borders to foreign travellers and will also permit nationals and permanent residents to travel in and out of the country from 1st August, as per the latest government statement.

This forms part of the efforts by Qatar to gradually lift restrictions imposed in containing the spread of coronavirus outbreak.

The Government Communications Office (GCO) yesterday said that all arrivals to Qatar from “low-risk countries” will have to undergo a coronavirus test at the airport, and should sign a formal pledge to abide by the home quarantine rules for a week.

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After a week, the travellers will have to undergo a second test and if they test negative, the quarantine period would end. But, if the result turns positive, the traveller would be transferred to a government facility for isolation.

According to GCO, the list of low-risk countries will be published in the website of the Ministry of Public Health and will be reviewed every two weeks. The present list has 40 countries and includes Thailand, China and Malaysia in the Asia Pacific, France, UK, Germany, Greece in Europe, Turkey and Algeria in the Middle East.

People arriving from countries that are not on the safe list will have to produce a “virus-free certificate” from an accredited Covid-19 testing facility 48 hours prior to travel and once they reach Qatar, they will have to adhere to the home quarantine policy.

In case the travellers are unable to complete the test from an accredited facility in their country of departure, they will be required to quarantine at a hotel at their own expense for a week and then will have to undergo Covid-19 test at the end of seven days.

If the results turn positive, the traveller will be moved to an isolation facility. If the results are negative, the individual will still have to remain in home quarantine for another week.

Meanwhile, the GCO announced that Qatari nationals, their spouses and children and those with permanent residency can travel outside the country and return any time. They will have to undergo the coronavirus tests or quarantine upon their return, depending on the destination they travelled to, i.e., whether it is a low-risk country.

Qatari residents who are outside the country can also return to Qatar from 1st August, depending on a series of priorities, including public health indicators, the kind of needs of various government sectors and humanitarian cases, the GCO said.

The lifting of travel restrictions on 1st August is the third phase in the four-phase reopening plan in Qatar.

Robin Vinod

Writer/blogger who writes on topics such as travel, real estate, employment and everyday life on GCC countries.

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