Qatar introduces new coronavirus restrictions for Eid al-Fitr

Most commercial activities will be suspended, passenger limits in vehicles also put in place.

Doha, Qatar, March 19, 2020 [Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]
Failure to comply with Qatar's latest coronavirus restrictions is punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine of 200,000 riyals ($54,800) [File: Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]

Qatar has announced a series of new measures aimed at stopping the spread of the new coronavirus, including halting most commercial activities until May 30.

All shops, with the exception of food and catering shops, pharmacies, restaurants delivery services and a few other essential services, will also be closed during the same time period, which coincides with the official Eid al-Fitr holidays.

All industrial activities, contracting companies, and engineering supervisory works – construction sites and engineering offices running under it – are exempted from the orders, according to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Starting May 22, all citizens and residents should also have the EHTERAZ app on their phones when leaving their homes. The app uses GPS and Bluetooth technology to help track COVID-19 cases, informing users if they come into contact with those who have tested positive.

No more than two people are now allowed to be in the same vehicle. Exceptions for three people are made for private vehicles driven by the family driver, or transportation in taxis. Buses will operate at half capacity.

Group exercising will not be allowed. Sport can only be practised near a person’s residence and taking into account all physical distancing measures.

Failure to comply with these measures is punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine of 200,000 riyals ($54,800).

Qatar, which made the use of wearing face masks mandatory when leaving the house starting May 16, has recorded 33,969 coronavirus cases and 15 deaths.

Source: Al Jazeera