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Qatar Eases Entry Requirements For Travelers

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The small middle eastern nation is easing and simplifying its border restrictions. Starting today, February 28th, Qatar is changing its entry requirements. Instead of having different rules for each arriving foreigner, based on their origin, they have opted for a simple “Standard List and Red List”. Within these lists, there is still a distinction made between vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers.

Doha, Qatar

The USA, Canada, UK, and most other worldwide countries are NOT on the red list and are subject to the standard entry requirements.
These include:

For Vaccinated Travelers:

  • Pre-travel PCR lab result with validity of 48 hours from departure time at the country of origin.
  • Proof of vaccination, valid for 9 months after the latest dose of one of the approved vaccines. The Approved vaccines are Pfizer, Moderna, Atra-Zeneca, Johnson & Johnson.
  • Or Proof of vaccination, valid for 6 months with any of the “Conditionally Approved Vaccines”. These include: Sinopharm, Sinovac, Sputnik V, Covaxin. 
Flying into Doha

For Unvaccinated Travelers:

  • Pre-travel PCR lab result with validity of 48 hours from departure time at the country of origin.
  • 5-day Hotel, or Home quarantine for those with first-degree relatives (on condition that proof of relationship and residence is provided)
  • Rapid Antigen Test on day 5 of Hotel/Home quarantine
qatar skyline

Additionally, all travelers need to download and activate the Ehteraz app on their mobile devices upon arrival at Qatar’s entry ports. To do so, the traveler must have the following:

  • SIM card from one of Qatar’s service providers (Ooredoo or Vodafone) or an international SIM card.​
  • ​Mobile internet connection.
  • The smartphone should support Android 6, newer versions or IOS 13.5 and later versions.​
  • Download and install the app on the mobile phone either via Google Play, Apple App Store or from any online search engines.​
Male Traveler Checking Phone For Directions

SIM cards and smartphones are available for purchase at Hamad International Airport and Abu Samra border crossing if the passenger does not own them before arrival.

Surely a slow start for loosening the country’s entry requirements, but a start nonetheless. Qatar will want to continue loosening these restrictions in the future as they are hoping for a massive tourism boom this year. 

World Cup 2022

The 2022 FIFA World Cup, one of the largest sporting events in the world, is hosted by Qatar this year. Beginning in November 2022, the Cup will be a chance for Qatar to showcase its potential as a worldwide tourism destination. I can’t imagine the government keeping such strict restrictions in place for travelers during this time period. The last World Cup, held in Russia, had an attendance of over 3 million people! Much of these attendees were visitors to the country and the tourism sector saw a huge economic boom. 

World Cup Soccer Ball

Getting to Qatar

Qatar Airways was voted World’s Best Airline in 2021. The accolade of Airline of the Year was provided by AirlineRatings.com, a much-respected website dedicated to rating airlines from around the world across a selection of rigorous standards. The airline connects the east and west, running regular flights between North America/Europe to Doha, and Doha to Asia. The upcoming World Cup will be a shining moment for Qatar Airways. 

While it’s a good sign that restrictions are loosening, I am hoping for more in the near future. Qatar’s neighbor, the United Arab Emirates just dropped the pre-departure PCR test for vaccinated travelers. Allowing people to enter the popular tourist destination more easily. We can only hope that Qatar follows suit. 

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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling.  Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories


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James

Tuesday 1st of March 2022

Not a good place for tourism and crap requirements

covidvaxinfo

Monday 28th of February 2022

don't own a smartphone. hard pass.

ajdj

Monday 28th of February 2022

way too complicated. hard pass