The Ehteraz application (app) has allowed Qatar citizens and residents to move with ease and responsibly in the country while helping the authorities prevent the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19), it is learnt.
And now, with an update allowing people without a Qatar ID (QID) to register using their visa number, people with visit or business visas too can use the app. The visa number registration facility is available for only Android users for now.
A Cabinet decision, which came into effect on May 22, requires citizens and residents to mandatorily install and activate the mobile app on their smartphones when leaving the house for any reason.
Since then, more and more entities in the country have made it compulsory for clients and visitors to show the green status on the Ehteraz app to be allowed entry into their premises. Apart from hypermarkets and other retail outlets, banks, as well as several commercial buildings and offices, in Qatar have put in place similar measures to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.
“The app gives me easy access to different locations and buildings, from reporting to work to going to other offices and hypermarkets in Doha. Anyway, they won’t allow you to enter their premises without the app on your phone,” Indian expatriate Gopal K told Gulf Times.
As only those who have a green (healthy status) code are allowed to enter many public places, he noted that the app also helps in reminding him to always practise social distancing.
Various financial institutions such as QNB, Commercial Bank, Barwa Bank, Doha Bank, Ahlibank and Qatar Islamic Bank, among others, have urged clients and visitors to download Ehteraz and show the green status before entering their buildings/branches. Hypermarkets and retail chains have also made Ehteraz, with a green status, mandatory for customers. These include LuLu Hypermarket, Family Food Centre, Saudia Group, Al Meera Consumer Goods Co, Monoprix Qatar, Carrefour Qatar and Safari Hypermarket.
LuLu Group International regional manager Shanavas P M said their security personnel are checking shoppers if they have the green code before allowing them to enter their stores. Apart from making the app compulsory for customers, he stressed that LuLu stores have been continuously implementing all possible measures such as proper social distancing practices, and sanitising every store as well as the accommodation units of their staff, among others, to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Besides making announcements on social media, retailers have also put up boards and banners at their entrances notifying the public about the Ehteraz requirement. Carrefour has put up banners at the entrance of every store reminding customers to download the app. It has also posted a video from Qatar Media Corporation on Facebook, saying: “Ehteraz application contributes to enhancing your safety and supports the efforts of the State.”
“Do not hesitate to register and receive educational and cautionary advice from the official authorities on Covid-19”, the video added. “Ehteraz… easy steps that enable you to prevent infection and help the country to contain the virus.”
Qatar Red Crescent Society volunteers have also been helping security personnel at various hypermarkets and retail outlets remind customers to open their Ehteraz app and show the green status.
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