* Non-ticketed fans need Hayya Card 
* World Cup opening ceremony at 5pm on Nov 20
* Four public hospitals to have dedicated urgent care walk-in centres

Officials at the press conference yesterday.


The organisers of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 announced on Thursday that fans without match tickets will be allowed to enter Qatar from December 2 after the completion of the group stage matches.
Since November 1, only people with the Hayya Card and match tickets accompanied by three guests have been allowed to enter the country. But these restrictions will now be eased from December 2 at the end of the tournament's group stage, when up to four matches a day will be played.
With only a fortnight to go for the football showpiece, the organisers yesterday outlined the latest operational aspects of the tournament at a press conference held at the Host Country Media Centre in Msheireb Downtown Doha.
The officials revealed details about the opening ceremony, fan experience, transport, medical guidance and security protocols.
The press conference was organised by the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) in collaboration with the Safety and Security Operations Committee (SSOC) and the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH).
Colonel Dr Jabr Hammoud Jabr al-Nuaimi, official spokesperson for the Ministry of Interior (MoI) and SSOC, said fans who have not booked tickets for the World Cup can travel to Qatar after obtaining the mandatory Hayya Card, which will act as an entry permit to the country.
“We are delighted to announce today that non-ticketed fans will be able to enter the State of Qatar after the conclusion of the group stage on 2 December, 2022, to enjoy the unique tournament atmosphere,” Colonel Dr al-Nuaimi said.
“Non-ticketed fans can apply for their Hayya cards to enter Qatar through the Hayya platform or 'Hayya to Qatar 2022' mobile app from today (Thursday), according to the listed requirements and QR500 entry fee for children aged 12 and over. Under 12s will not be charged,” he added.
About the security preparations for the month-long mega event, Colonel Dr al-Nuaimi said Qatar has implemented all measures to protect the stadiums, infrastructure and fans.
“We are pleased to announce our readiness to securely host the World Cup. The Ministry of Interior and security forces have worked diligently to put extensive plans and programmes in place to ensure the delivery of a safe and distinguished tournament,” the official spokesperson for the Ministry of Interior and SSOC noted.
“For many years, Qatar was among the highest-ranking countries in global security and safety indicators, topping the list of countries in the Middle East and North Africa. This makes Qatar an ideal country to safely host major events of all kinds. The tournament's security entails many different objectives, including protecting all World Cup facilities and infrastructure components, as well as building an integrated security capability for the tournament that surpasses the standards and practices used in previous major events,” he added.
The much-anticipated opening ceremony will take place at 5pm, two hours before Qatar kick off the tournament against Ecuador at the 60,000-seater Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor on November 20.
Khalid al-Mawlawi, deputy director-general, Marketing, Communications & Event Experience at the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), said gates to the stadium will open at 3pm as he urged fans to reach the venue early to avoid crowd rush. “I am advising all the ticket holders to be there, at least two hours before the opening ceremony kicks off,” he said.
Al-Mawlawi would not go into details on which artists will perform at the opening ceremony, which is expected to be spectacular. While reports have suggested that hip-hop artistes Black Eyed Peas, K-Pop stars BTS and Colombian singer Shakira could all be taking to the stage, FIFA will announce the lineup of the artists closer to the event.
Al-Mawlawi also provided details about Qatar’s vast entertainment programme. “Qatar will host a vast array of cultural and entertainment offerings during the World Cup, including more than 90 special events taking place on the sidelines of the tournament. In addition to the FIFA Fan Festival at Al Bidda Park, the Doha Corniche will be one of the largest fan destinations, with roving performances, cultural activities, food and beverage stalls and retail outlets along its 6km route, with capacity to host more than 70,000 fans every day,” he said.
“Other activities will include the daily ‘Welcome to Qatar’ show, one of the biggest pyrotechnic shows in the world. Theme park rides and other attractions will be open to fans at Al Maha Island Lusail, along with the 974 Beach Club, the Hayya Fan Zone on Lusail South Promenade, North Qetaifan Island and the Arcadia Spectacular and ARAVIA by MDLBeast dance music festivals. The Last-Mile Cultural Activations will also feature more than 6,000 performances in 21 locations,” al-Mawlawi added.
Healthcare provisions were also detailed at the press conference yesterday, including the latest requirements announced by the MoPH. Fans are no longer required to provide evidence of a negative Covid-19 test on arrival in Qatar. Fans are also no longer required to download the Ehteraz application. Emergency healthcare will be provided for free to Hayya Card holders at public health facilities.
Dr. Yousef al-Maslamani, official healthcare spokesperson for Qatar 2022, said it is strongly recommended visitors to Qatar are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and seasonal influenza.
The official said more than 100 clinics will be set up in stadiums, fan zones, key accommodation sites along with four public hospitals with dedicated urgent care walk-in centres. Emergency mobile medical teams will also be stationed at the Corniche and FIFA Fan Festival in Al Bidda.
He also advised visiting fans to take travel insurance, with healthcare cover, for the duration of their stay in Qatar. The healthcare helpline for fans in Qatar is 16000.
“We encourage fans to visit our dedicated website for the latest information. We also urge all international fans to take out travel insurance before arriving in Qatar,” Dr al-Maslamani said.
The latest transport updates were also discussed during the press conference. Visiting fans are encouraged to use public transport to get around, including the dedicated bus services and Doha Metro. Qatar residents are encouraged to use their private cars to attend matches.
Ali al-Ali, deputy director-general – Event Operations, SC, said: “Our state-of-the-art public transport systems will provide seamless options for fans to get around. Thanks to our compact tournament, fans will never be far from a stadium, their accommodation or entertainment site – and will even have the chance to attend more than one match per day during the early stages of the tournament.”    
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