* Service is available on Qatar Portal and applications can be submitted from August 1

Qatar has launched the 'Exceptional Entry Permit' service to enable residents, who are currently stuck abroad due to Covid-19, to return to the country.

The service is available on the Qatar Portal and applications to get the entry permit can be submitted starting August 1.

The temporary service "allows employers, whether individuals or companies, government or private sectors, to apply for entry permits for residents and their family members holding QIDs under which they can return to Qatar", according to information available on the Qatar Portal (https://portal.www.gov.qa/wps/portal/qsports/home).

Following are the steps to apply:

* Create a new account (https://www.nas.gov.qa/self-service/register/select-user-type?sp=MOTC-QSPORTS-PRD) on Qatar Portal or log in (https://www.nas.gov.qa/idp/public/authn/password) to your existing account (if available).

* Click on “Apply for Exceptional Entry Permit”.

* Read the terms and conditions and prepare all required attachments before starting the application.

* Enter the application page and fill in the required information correctly and completely as shown on the passport.

* Enter your email ID correctly to receive approval on your application.

* Print the entry permit and keep a copy of it and a copy of the quarantine undertaking to be presented to airport officials.

For more information, one can call 109 from within Qatar or +974 44069999 from outside the country.

As part of lifting the Covid-19 restrictions gradually, the government earlier this week announced changes to the quarantine requirements for incoming passengers after reviewing the travel policy announced earlier. The changes came into effect on July 22.

A statement issued by the Government Communications Office (GCO) said the revision was based on public health indicators in Qatar as well as around the world.

According to it residents will be allowed to return to Qatar starting the first of August 2020. Their entry will be organised based on a series of priorities, including public health indicators, the nature of the needs of the various government and semi-government sectors and humanitarian cases, and through submitting return requests for permits via the “Qatar Portal” website based on the above-mentioned priorities.

The employer shall bear the costs of the quarantine in the dedicated facilities for blue collar workers in the private sector and domestic workers at a nominal cost after obtaining the entry permit.

Workers in the various sectors are required to coordinate the dates of travel and return with their employers. Families and workers in the education sector must take the quarantine period into account when planning their return to Qatar in order to avoid absence during the mandatory quarantine period, whether in the designated facilities or at home.

The GCO statement made it clear that the process of issuing return permits for residents will be through the “Qatar Portal“ website until the need to organise the entry process ends, based on relevant public health indicators.

Persons with serious health conditions have been made eligible for home quarantine for a week, regardless of the country from which they arrived.

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