Football fans travelling to Qatar for the World Cup will no longer need to present negative COVID tests and preregister on a government app to enter the country.
The Qatari government has cancelled the majority of travel restrictions related to COVID-19 ahead of the start of the World Cup that kicks off on November 20.
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From November 1, travellers no longer need to present a negative COVID-19 PCR or Rapid Antigen tests to enter the country.
Visitors entering Qatar are not required to preregister on the government’s Ehteraz health application before their arrival.
A green health status on Ehteraz is now required only to access the country’s health facilities.
A COVID vaccination certificate is also no longer required to enter Qatar.
The arriving fans, players, officials, staff and media are by far the biggest influx of visitors seen in Qatar, which has a population of approximately 2.9 million.
Qatari citizens and residents also no longer need to take a PCR or rapid antigen test within 24 hours of returning from abroad, the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) said.
The measures cover all visitors arriving from November 1, when Qatar will be closed to anyone without a Hayya card – the mandatory document issued to players, officials, staff, media and ticket holders and their guests.
Qatari organisers and football’s governing body, FIFA, have said they want the event to be a sign the world is getting over the devastating pandemic.
But MoPH has previously warned that special measures would be ordered “in the event of a worsening pandemic situation in the country”, such as the emergence of a threatening new variant.
Players and match officials may be forced into a secure “bio-bubble” if COVID cases take off again, with the threat of expulsion from the tournament for those who breach the secure environment, the ministry said last month.
A requirement to wear masks on public transport was scrapped in October and masks are also not compulsory inside the eight World Cup stadiums.