• Covid-recovered arrivals exempted from quarantine subject to conditions
• Updated protocol comes into effect on Sunday, April 25
All Qatar-bound travellers are required to undergo a Covid-19 test at a medical centre approved by the local health ministry in the country they are coming from, within 72 hours before their arrival in Qatar, and the result of the examination must be negative, the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) said on Wednesday.
The ministry has issued an update to the quarantine protocol and testing of persons for Covid-19, which also includes rules for exempting coronavirus- recovered people from quarantine, Qatar News Agency reports. This new protocol will take effect from Sunday, April 25.
The MoPH explained that an individual who has recovered from Covid-19 and had contact with a person infected or suspected of having the disease, and did not show symptoms of infection, would be exempted from quarantine. This is provided the person has recovered from the disease according to a laboratory-confirmed result and fulfilled the criteria after the end of health isolation. This should be within six months of the first positive result of the Covid-19 examination.
Such a person should also undergo a Covid-19 test to rule out an infection without symptoms. Recovered persons can obtain a report to confirm prior infection from their health centre.
However, if a coronavirus-recovered person who met the requirements for exemption from quarantine develops symptoms similar to those of Covid-19 within 14 days of coming into contact with an infected person, s/he must isolate himself from others and be clinically evaluated regarding the possibility of infection. This includes undergoing a Covid-19 PCR test.
If the result is negative and no other cause for these symptoms has been identified, the person may be asked to retake the Covid-19 test.
The ministry added that a Covid-19-recovered person will be exempted from quarantine upon his/her return from travel if the result of the coronavirus examination is negative upon entering the country, provided s/he has recovered from the disease according to a laboratory-confirmed result during six months after confirming his illness.
Dr Mariam Abdulmalik, director-general of the Primary Health Care Corporation and head of the Health Tactical Command Group for Community Services within the governance structure for Covid-19, said these rules and guidelines are based on the latest available medical information and evidence, adding that the quarantine comes within the legal framework of the International Health Regulations (2005). The MoPH will continue to update these recommendations as soon as new information becomes available regarding Covid-19.
She called on all people, including those recovering from the disease and those who have received the vaccine, to continue adhering to precautionary measures such as wearing masks and maintaining physical distancing, avoiding crowded places and poorly ventilated places, keeping the hands clean and following national travel guidelines and any instructions issued at the workplace or school.
She also stressed that all travellers coming to Qatar must undergo a Covid-19 examination at a medical centre accredited by the local ministry of health in the country of departure within 72 hours before their arrival in Qatar, and that the result of the examination must be negative. She added that some categories of travelers may undergo a Covid-19 test upon arrival at the airport as determined by the MoPH.
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