Qatar to ease COVID restrictions after drop in cases

Masks regulations to be eased and offices can operate at full capacity following drop in daily cases.

The skyline view of Doha's West Bay high-rise district.
More than 80 percent of Qatar's population has been fully vaccinated [Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera]

Qatar has announced easing of coronavirus-related restrictions following a drop in daily cases, with the most significant being relaxation in mask regulations.

On Wednesday, Qatar’s cabinet said that starting from October 3, mask regulations would no longer apply to outdoor activities, except during organised public events, markets and exhibitions. However, it added that masks must still be worn at mosques, schools, hospitals and university premises, as well as at all public indoor areas.

Additionally, markets and malls can also operate at full capacity, with children allowed to enter such facilities while abiding by the maximum number of customers allowed in each store.

Food courts are allowed to operate at a 50-percent capacity and all prayer areas and fitting rooms at malls can reopen.

All museums and public libraries are also allowed to operate at a full capacity. Offices in the government and private sectors can resume operation at full capacity.

Outdoor restaurants and cafes can also operate at full capacity, while those which have not been certified are allowed to operate at 50 percent.

Indoor restaurants and cafes are also allowed to operate at 75 percent while uncertified facilities can operate at 40 percent.

More than 4.7 million vaccine doses have been administered in Qatar [File: Anne Levasseur/AFP]

The gradual easing of restrictions come as Qatar is witnessing a drop in daily infection cases.

On Wednesday, the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) reported 51 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 among the populace and 25 among travellers.

Qatar has reported 236,558 cases of coronavirus since the pandemic began, including 605 deaths.

In total, more than 4.7 million vaccine doses have been administered since the start of Qatar’s national vaccination programme.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies