Qatar opens for international travel
The State of Qatar has reopened its borders to international travellers who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, with vaccines that are approved for use by the Ministry of Public Health in Qatar including Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna, Vaxzevria, and Covishield by Astrazeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Sinopharm (with minor restrictions for Sinopharm, read on). All tourist arrivals will also require a confirmed hotel booking to visit Qatar.
To be fully vaccinated, travellers must allow 14 days to pass after their second dose of Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna, Astrazeneca and Sinopharm, and one dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Travellers fully vaccinated with Sinopharm will need to pre-book a quarantine hotel if they are coming from a yellow or red list country – the UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Egypt are all currently in Qatar’s yellow list. So if you’re fully vaccinated with Sinopharm, you will be subject to an antibody test on arrival in the hotel; if the antibody test result is positive with antibodies, they will be discharged on day 1 (if coming from yellow), or once the on-hotel-arrival PCR test result is negative for travellers coming from a red list country such as Lebanon, India or the UK.
Travellers fully vaccinated with Sinopharm coming from a green country – such as Azerbaijan, Czechia, Singapore and South Korea – can enter Qatar without the need to quarantine.
If you’re fully vaccinated but travelling with unvaccinated kids between 12 and 17 years of age, there is a need for home quarantine for five days if you’re coming from a green country, seven days if yellow or 10 days if the country of origin is red listed.
All other approved vaccines (Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna, Astrazeneca and Johnson & Johnson) will allow quarantine-free entry into the country regardless of which list the country is placed in provided passengers are fully vaccinated and have a negative PCR 72 hours ahead of travel.
These new arrangements will also make it easier for citizens and residents of Qatar to travel in and out of the country, enabling fully vaccinated people to bypass the quarantine requirement when returning to Qatar.
Travellers fully vaccinated with Sinopharm will need to pre-book a quarantine hotel if they are coming from a yellow or red list country
If you are unvaccinated and travelling from a red list country to visit Qatar, say from the UK, you have to quarantine for 10 days in a hotel. If you’re unvaccinated and travelling from a yellow list country, expect to hotel quarantine for 7 days. Also expect to hotel quarantine if you have been fully vaccinated with vaccines that have not been approved by Qatar at the moment.
All visitors – vaccinated or non-vaccinated – will be required to undertake a PCR test up to 72 hours prior to travel.
In order to visit Qatar – international visitors, citizens and residents – must register and upload required documentation such as a vaccination certificate, valid PCR test up to 72 hours prior to travel, and personal details through the ‘Ehteraz’ website (www.ehteraz.gov.qa).
Travellers have to apply for the authorization through the ‘Ehteraz’ website (free of charge), at least 12 hours before their planned departure to Qatar. All in-bound travellers are advised to submit their application as soon as they have all their required documentation, to ensure they can board their flights as planned. Airlines are advised to only let passengers board who have a valid travel authorisation for Qatar from the above effective date.
In addition, visitor visa rules apply for certain nationalities, however 87 nationalities can visit Qatar with a free ‘visa on arrival’. Those requiring a visitor visa are advised to first obtain a visitor visa and then apply for their travel authorisation on the ‘Ehteraz’ website.
In addition, all travellers are required to download and activate the ‘Ehteraz’ mobile app which requires a domestic Qatari SIM card. A SIM card can be purchased from either Ooredoo or Vodafone on arrival at Hamad International Airport (HIA). Upon activation, visitors will be able to participate in public activities such as visiting malls, restaurants, museums, or using taxis or public transportation.
Qatar Tourism in partnership with the Ministry of Public Health launched more than one year ago the “Qatar Clean” programme for the hospitality & tourism sector to ensure safe visitor experiences in Qatar. However, the Ministry of Public Health advises all visitors to continue to be vigilant and adhere with all preventive measures including wearing face masks which are mandatory in Qatar (indoors as well as outdoors at all times), avoiding crowded places and sanitizing hands regularly.