* New Covid-19 travel and return policy updates come into effect at 7pm Qatar time Wednesday
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) has announced a set of updates to its Covid-19 travel and return policy, which will come into effect Wednesday at 7pm Qatar time.
In a statement Tuesday, the ministry said the updates will support the smooth entry of travellers into Qatar.
According to the new updates, GCC and EU citizens and residents (immunised or recovered) can use - in Qatar - the Covid-19 health information app approved in their countries and will not have to complete the Ehteraz website pre-travel registration, Qatar News Agency reported.
Also, taking a PCR test before travel to Qatar is optional for GCC and EU nationals and residents, unless the country of departure is on the Red Health Measures list.
Travellers who do not undergo a pre-travel PCR test must have a rapid antigen test done at an authorised medical centre within 24 hours of arrival in Qatar. Travellers with a pre-travel PCR test are exempted from doing a rapid antigen test after arrival.
The MoPH said the validity of Covid-19 immunity after receiving the Covid-19 vaccine booster dose or following recovery from infection has been extended to 12 months, in line with its recent announcement in this regard.
The changes aim to facilitate smooth entry into Qatar for all travelers while safeguarding Qatar's population from Covid-19 through the implementation of appropriate health checks on travellers entering the country.
The ministry added that all travellers must download and activate the Ehteraz app to gain entry to public places in Qatar.
According to information available on the MoPH website, "for GCC nationals and residents who meet the immunity criteria, the following Covid-19 health app used in any of the GCC countries shall be honoured and accepted in Qatar in lieu of online pre-travel registration on the condition that it reflects the immune status": Bahrain - BeAware Bahrain; Saudi Arabia - Tawakkalna; Kuwait - Shlonik; Oman - Tarassud; and the UAE - Al Hosn.
The COVPass health app for EU nationals and residents "shall be honoured and accepted in Qatar in lieu of online registration on the condition that they meet the immunity criteria and this is reflected on the COVPass app".
"Travellers who hold any of the above health apps shall be exempted from online registration and are required to proceed to any authorised private clinics for a rapid antigen test within 24 hours of their arrival in Qatar. Pre-travel RT-PCR test is required for immune and non-immune travellers coming from the countries under Red Health Measures. Meanwhile, non-immune travellers must register on the pre-travel registration platform and submit their pre-travel PCR test," the website states.
Non-residents of Qatar who are non-immune/unvaccinated or who do not fall in the above two categories must register via the pre-travel registration system for people entering Qatar at www.ehteraz.gov.qa website and upload all relevant official documents, where applicable, such as vaccination certificates, evidence of previous Covid-19 infection, serology antibody test results (for conditional vaccines), and PCR lab result at least three days before arrival. Although uploading the PCR test result is not mandatory during the electronic pre-registration process, travellers who are required to have a pre-travel PCR test must present the original copy of the PCR test result to airlines in order to allow them to board the plane, or at the country’s ports (land and sea). "Your pre-travel online registration will help accelerate your passage and clearance at the port of arrival for a better arrival experience in Qatar," the MoPH stressed.
The countries on the Red Health Measures list are Bangladesh, Egypt, Georgia, India, Jordan, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines and Sri Lanka.
Details of the updates to the travel and return policy to Qatar can be obtained by visiting the MoPH website at www.MoPH.gov.qa
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