Qatar Updates COVID-19 Travel and Return Rules

On 28th February, Qatar adopted new travel and return policy. The new policy provides the new classification of countries according to the level of COVID-19 risk.

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Due to the noticeable decrease in the number of coronavirus cases and successful vaccination campaigns in the country, Qatar updated its policy on travel and entry rules.

The travel and return policy is a key factor in the successful strategy of the state of Qatar to combat COVID-19 and its consequences. The precautionary measures introduced in Qatar turned out to be effective and contributed to the lowest rates of coronavirus-related deaths in the country. 

Country Classification List

Previously Qatar's classification divided countries into green, red, and exceptional red. Now this classification was replaced with the new policy consisting of two categories of countries - Standard Health Measures and Red-List Health Measures. 

Standard Health Measures

The standard list comprises all countries not included on the red-list. The entry rules for incoming visitors to Qatar who falls under the category of Standard Health Measures are as follows:

Fully Vaccinated/Recovered

  • Pre-Arrival Testing: a negative pre-travel PCR test report taken within 48 hours of departure 
  • Quarantine: exempted
  • On-Arrival Testing: not applicable

Unvaccinated/Non-immune

  • Pre-Arrival Testing: a negative pre-travel PCR test report taken within 48 hours of departure 
  • Quarantine: 5-day hotel or home quarantine (also for first-degree relatives)
  • On-Arrival Testing: rapid antigen test on 5th day of home or hotel quarantine

Red-List Health Measures

As of 28th Feb. 2022, the red list includes 9 countries. The rules for visitors from countries falling under this category are as follows:

Fully Vaccinated/Recovered

  • Pre-Arrival Testing: a negative pre-travel PCR test report taken within 48 hours of departure 
  • Quarantine: a 1-day hotel quarantine
  • On-Arrival Testing: rapid antigen test on 1st day of hotel quarantine

Unvaccinated/Non-immune

Unvaccinated (non-immune) travelers from countries classified on the red list cannot enter Qatar. 

Definitions of fully vaccinated, recovered and unvaccinated travelers

Fully Vaccinated

All those who received any of the COVID-19 vaccines recognized by the Ministry of Public Health within its immunity validity period:

  • valid for 9 months starting from 14 days after receiving the second dose (or booster dose) of Moderna, Astra Zenica, or Pfizer vaccines;
  • valid for 9 months starting from 14 days after the 1st dose of Jansen&Jansen vaccine was administered (9 months from 7 days after receiving the Jansesn&Jansen booster dose);
  • valid for 6 months from the 14 days after receiving the second dose or booster dose of conditionally approved coronavirus vaccine; a positive serology on antibody test lab report is necessary and remains valid for 30 days from the date of testing*.

*If a traveler cannot take a serology antibody test or its result is negative, the traveler is subject to a 5-day quarantine upon arrival in Qatar. 

The immune status of those who were administered booster doses using MOPH recognized vaccines is extended to 9 months starting from 7 days after receiving the booster dose. Moreover, those persons are exempt from serology antibody testing.

Recovered

All those who can provide medical confirmation of COVID-19 infection, have immune status valid for 9 months from the date of infection. An official and verifiable lab test report is obligatory to confirm the past infection and receive the recovery status. 

Unvaccinated/Non-immune

Anyone who does not fall under the above-described criteria is considered unvaccinated (non-immune) against COVID-19.

Katarzyna Żyła
2022-03-1

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