Qatar is the latest country to drop all entry restrictions, joining over 120 countries in returning to normal travel. The government just announced that the removal of restrictions will go into effect on November 1, 2022.
This comes shortly ahead of the start of the World Cup, which is scheduled to take place in Qatar beginning on November 20, 2022.
For travelers going to Qatar in the coming weeks, entering the country just became much easier.
Here’s what to know about the country dropping restrictions.
No More Covid Tests Or Contract Tracing
According to the Gulf Times, visitors to Qatar no longer need to present a negative Covid test in order to enter the country.
Previously, travelers needed a negative rapid antigen test taken up to 24 hours before departure or a negative PCR test taken up to 48 hours before departure in order to enter the country.
Now, this testing requirement has been scrapped for arrivals beginning November 1.
Another welcome change is the removal of the requirement for travelers to pre-register with the Ehteraz app. Ehteraz, a government-owned contract tracing app, was previously required for all visitors.
This app, which came under fire for requiring users to submit to 24/7 GPS tracking and give up large quantities of personal data, is no longer required for anyone visiting Qatar.
Visitors also do not need to show evidence of having received the Covid vaccine.
After being one of the last holdouts in the developed world to maintain Covid-related travel restrictions, Qatar now joins more than 120 countries in welcoming tourists normally again.
Are Masks Required In Qatar?
Masks are no longer required in any setting in the country.
Qatar removed its indoor mask mandate on September 1, 2022. Masks were still required on transportation, but that has now been dropped too, as of mid-October.
Masks are also no longer required on Qatar Airways flights or any other form of transportation around the country.
With the removal of mask mandates, travelers will be able to enjoy a return to normalcy while visiting the country for the World Cup.
Traveling For The World Cup
Qatar is hosting the FIFA World Cup this year. This international soccer tournament, which has been held every four years since 1930, will be occurring for the first time post-Covid this November.
This recent announcement regarding the removal of travel restrictions will come as a relief to the millions of tourists expected to arrive in the country in the coming weeks.
Qatar’s civil aviation regulators have estimated that between 3.5 million and 4.1 million travelers will arrive for the World Cup in November.
More than three million tickets have been sold for the event, which will see soccer teams from 32 nations competing in Qatar next month.
Airlines flying soccer fans to Qatar have been making preparations, and Qatar Airways has boosted its workforce from 10,000 to 55,000 employees to handle the World Cup crowds.
According to Badr Mohammad Al Meer, the COO of Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar, more than 500 flights will be landing daily during the tournament.
Things To Know Before Visiting Qatar
In addition to knowing about the removal of travel restrictions, there are several other things visitors should be aware of before going to Qatar.
For the duration of the World Cup, all visitors entering the country and planning to attend matches must obtain a Hayya Card.
This card acts as an entry visa into the country and also includes access to the stadium and free access to public transportation.
Additionally, there are a number of cultural differences and customs in Qatar that all travelers should be aware of before visiting.
Traveler Alert: Don’t Forget Travel Insurance For Your Next Trip!
↓ Join Our Community ↓
The Travel Off Path Community FB group has all the latest reopening news, conversations, and Q&A’s happening daily!
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR LATEST POSTS
Enter your email address to subscribe to Travel Off Path’s latest breaking travel news, straight to your inbox
This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com