Qatar Travel Guide: FAQs for All Travelers on Qatar's Latest Travel and Return Policy

  • 4 months   ago
new travel policy qatar, qatar flights, travel to qatar guide, guide when traveling to qatar, traveling from qatar rules, doha flights, qatar fully vaccinated travel

Is Qatar now open to tourists? What are the current travel restrictions? Does a traveler need a COVID-19 test to enter or leave the country? What are the conditions for fully vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers?


This article will serve as your guide as it provides answers to these questions and more about the latest travel and return policy in Qatar.


All of the details below are based on the current announcements and guidelines set by the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) and the local authorities.


Scroll through to learn more!


TOURISTS/TRANSITS


Is Qatar now open to tourists?

The answer is no. As stated in the website of Hamad International Airport (HIA), entry to the State of Qatar is currently permitted to Qatari nationals, resident permit holders, and GCC nationals only.


Is HIA still open for international flights?

Yes, the airport remains open and operational. There are regular flights to and from Qatar for those who meet the travel requirements to enter or exit the country. To know which airlines and flights are available daily, check HIA’s online directory for your guide.


I am transiting through Qatar. Do I need a COVID-19 PCR Test certificate?

All passengers transiting through Qatar must have the mandatory pre-travel PCR test certificate valid for (72) hours of arrival to Qatar, and in case they require another PCR test for their onward destination, they can have it at HIA on a standard fee of QAR 300/- per test.


RESIDENTS/CITIZENS


I want to travel outside Qatar. What will be the requirements?

Those wishing to travel must know the procedures applied in the country they want to visit in terms of quarantine procedures, duration, and the need to provide a COVID-19-free certificate.


Qatar Airways has a portal where you can check entry or exit requirements you need to comply with before you travel, depending on your country of origin and final destination.


I am currently in Qatar. Can I travel and return any time? 

If you are a citizen, a resident (a Qatar ID/QID or Residence Permit/RP holder), or with a prior entry visa, you can travel abroad at any time, provided you adhere to the travel and return policy and protocols announced. 


You will automatically receive an exceptional entry permit upon departure. You or your employer will be able to print out the exceptional entry permit from the website of the Ministry of Interior (MOI) at any point after your departure from Qatar. 


Note: Employees must coordinate with their employers about the dates of their travel and return to Qatar. They should consider the quarantine period when planning their trip.


Where can I register for an automatic return permit?

Requests will no longer need to be submitted through the Qatar Portal. The permit will be available automatically upon registration of the resident’s departure from Qatar through the following steps:


1. Open the “Print Exceptional Entry Permit” service page on MOI website.

2. Enter QID number and residency expiry date

3. Enter verification code, then click on Print.

4. The permit can also be printed via the Metrash2 mobile app.


What are the latest guidelines for travelers from India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri-Lanka, and the Philippines?

• Exemptions from quarantine policy for vaccinated individuals do NOT apply. 

• The following measures are implemented for travelers coming from India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines, whether they are traveling through direct flight or via other countries (transit), which include:

- All passengers whose original flight is from the said countries are subject to mandatory COVID-19 PCR Test done 48 hours before departure from the testing centers approved by their local health authority. Knowing that no one can board the flight to Qatar without a valid Negative PCR certificate.

- All arrivals from those countries must undergo (10) days quarantine in a dedicated quarantine  hotels, or (14) days if quarantined at Mekhaines facility.

- Home quarantine criteria is NOT applicable for travelers coming from these countries, including the exemptions due to vaccination or recovery from a previous infection with the virus during the past nine months.

- All arrivals from those countries must undergo a repeat COVID-19 PCR test at the quarantine hotels within one day of arrival. Knowing that the PCR test will be repeated  on day five and day twelve of quarantine.

- All passengers transiting through Qatar must have the mandatory pre-travel PCR test as mentioned in point 1, and in case they require another PCR test for their onward destination, they can have it at Hamad International Airport on a standard fee of QAR 300/- per test.​​


FULLY VACCINATED INDIVIDUALS


I am a resident in Qatar and got my full COVID-19 vaccination here. How does it benefit me when travelling? 

You may travel at any time after receiving your 2nd dose. Both citizens and residents are eligible for travel. 


Note: If you travel before the completion of the (14) days of the 2nd dose and return before this period is completed, then you will be subjected to home quarantine for a period of (7) days or until you finish the (14) days from your 2nd dose, whichever is shorter.


UNVACCINATED INDIVIDUALS


I am unvaccinated. Will I still be allowed to travel?

Unvaccinated citizens and residents wishing to travel abroad to one of the countries NOT included in the COVID-19 Green List must book a hotel quarantine package from the listed hotels on the "Discover Qatar​" website before traveling.


COVID-19 PCR TEST


Is a pre-travel COVID-19 PCR Test certificate mandatory to enter Qatar?

All travelers to Qatar regardless of age, including those previously vaccinated or infected, must do a pre-travel COVID-19 PCR test within (72) hours of arrival to Qatar at the country of origin in a medical center that their local Ministry of Health approved to perform COVID-19 PCR tests.


Note: 

• MoPH announced that any medical center approved by the local health authority in the country of departure is acceptable, provided that the COVID-19 test is through RT-PCR and the center can provide a certificate. 

• The PCR test result should be negative before they are allowed to board the airplane to Qatar or enter the state through the land border.


Certain categories will be subject to testing upon arrival at the ports (airport, land port, or seaport) such as:​

• Individuals traveling for less than 72 hours

• Government employees on official missions

• Country official visitors (VVIP)

• Diplomats

• Travelers with symptoms (will be tested as necessary as judged by the medical team at the ports).


Mandatory Negative COVID-19 PCR Test Certificate

• All terminating passengers will be subject to the mandatory pre-travel COVID-19 PCR Test and will NOT be allowed to board the aircraft. 

• Terminating passengers must have a valid  COVID-19 test in a medical center approved by the local ministry of health in the country of origin. 

• For more details concerning the policies applied to your country of origin by Qatar, contact your airline.

• To ensure the health and safety of the community, the medical team will conduct random testing (sampling) for some returning travelers, particularly those coming from countries NOT listed in the COVID-19 Green List.

• Travelers returning to Qatar or traveling through HIA to their onward destination should have a negative PCR Test Certificate to be allowed to board the aircraft to Qatar or enter the State through any ports of entry.


What if I lost my COVID-19 PCR Test certificate when travelling to Qatar?

Travelers who lost the PCR-test Certificate during travel can be tested at HIA or Abu Samra land port upon arrival on a standard fee of QAR 300/- per test.


What if there are no accredited medical centers for COVID-19 PCR Test in my country of origin?

Individuals returning from countries or cities that don’t have medical centers that could perform COVID-19 PCR Tests or provide a COVID-19 PCR-Test Certificate, including travelers returning from Omrah.


Where to take the COVID-19 PCR Test in Qatar and how much would it cost?

COVID-19 PCR-test to travel abroad should be conducted at one of the private healthcare facilities announced by MOPH at a fixed rate of QAR 300/- per test. Read also: Where and How to Get COVID-19 PCR Tests in Qatar? (For Travels and Other Purposes)


CHILDREN


I am traveling with children. What are their travel requirements?

Qatar Airways announced on Twitter that, “Infants (2 years and below) and children under 12 years are exempted from the RT-PCR test requirements if travelling with their family who are holding a negative test result.”

Note: Check with your airline to confirm if RT-PCR test is required for your children.


When entering Qatar, all travelers regardless of age, including those previously vaccinated or infected, must do a pre-travel COVID-19 PCR test within (72) hours of arrival to Qatar at the country of origin in a medical center that their local Ministry of Health approved to perform COVID-19 PCR tests. The PCR test result should be negative before they are allowed to board the airplane to Qatar or enter the state through the land border.


Non-vaccinated children below 18 years of age returning to Qatar from countries NOT included in the Green List with fully vaccinated parents are home quarantined for (7) days, provided that the booking made through "Discover Qatar" before their arrival to Qatar, and they will be subjected to a PCR test on day 6.


On the condition that one of the parents can be exempted, while the other quarantined with the children and his/her health status on Ehteraz app will turn YELLOW, which means they are under quarantine. During the quarantine period, the parents cannot exchange their roles.​


Unvaccinated children aged below 18, whether returning from travel alone or with their parents, are home quarantined for (7) days, provided that both parents are vaccinated. 


For those aged below 18, their parents or guardian shall sign the undertaking affirming their children’s compliance with the home quarantine regulations.


Note: Children over the age of 12 must wear a mask and children over the age of 2 should be encouraged to wear a mask. It is NOT mandatory for children under the age of 2 to wear a mask.


I am not traveling but assisting my elderly parent/ child. Can I go to the check in area in HIA with them?

Children traveling without a guardian may be accompanied by a parent. Passengers requiring assistance may be accompanied by a family member.


HOTEL QUARANTINE


What are the conditions for those who are subject to hotel quarantine?

Citizens, residents, and visitors traveling from countries NOT included in the Green List should bear the cost of the hotel quarantine for (7) days, and a hotel package must be booked from the listed hotels on the "Discover Qatar​"​ website before their travel abroad.


Visitors, who don’t meet the Quarantine exemption criteria whether traveling from green listed countries or non-green listed countries, are hotel quarantined at their own expenses for (7) days. They should book a quarantine package from the listed hotels on the "Discover Qatar" website before their travel to Qatar.


Individuals who undergo hotel quarantine, must have a negative PCR test result performed prior to release from hotel quarantine.​


Note: If the hotel quarantine criteria apply, the government will cover the costs of the hotel quarantine packages for patients receiving their treatment abroad at the expense of the State, along with their official escorts. The employer is responsible to cover the quarantine expenses for their employees who are on official missions.


HOME QUARANTINE


What are the guidelines for those who will be in home quarantine?

Citizens and residents may travel at any time after receiving the 2nd dose. However, if they travel before the completion of the (14) days of the 2nd dose and return before this period is completed then they will be subjected to home quarantine for a period of (7) days or until they finish the (14) days from the second dose, whichever is shorter.


For unvaccinated ​​​​citizens and residents with no previous COVID-19 infection and are traveling from Green listed countries, are home quarantined for (7) days and should sign a Home Quarantine Undertaking.


Non-vaccinated children below 18 years of age returning to Qatar from countries NOT included in the Green List with fully vaccinated parents are home quarantined for (7) days and be subjected to a PCR test on day 6.


Individuals who undergo home quarantine, must have a negative PCR test result performed on day 6 in order to be released from quarantine.


With home quarantine, the accommodation conditions should be suitable, provided it has a separate room with its ensuite bathroom. If the accommodation is NOT appropriate, one of the hotel quarantine packages must be booked for (7) days through the "Discover Qatar​" website before traveling to Qatar.


QUARANTINE EXEMPTION


How long is the validity of COVID-19 vaccine for quarantine exemption?

The validity of the vaccine to grant quarantine exemption is nine months, starting (14) days after the second dose. This immunity period could be extended based on new and emerging data.


Who can be exempted from quarantine?

• Citizens and residents (Including those with prior entry visas) who have completed the vaccination doses are exempt from quarantine upon return from travel if at least (14) days have passed after receiving the second dose of a two-dose series vaccine or from the single dose in case of single-dose regime vaccine, provided that the vaccines are recognized by the Ministry of Public Health in Qatar and a negative PCR test result before returning to Qatar.


• Citizens and residents recovered from a previous infection within the last (9) months are exempted from quarantine upon return from their travel abroad, if they were asymptomatic and their PCR test result was negative. Note: This rule applies to individuals infected in Qatar only.  


• The exemption from quarantine applies to GCC citizens entering Qatar through either Hamad International Airport or the Abu Samra land  border, and will apply to expatriates residing in GCC countries as soon as they are permitted to travel to Qatar again


• The following groups of citizens and residents returning to Qatar from countries NOT included in the Green List are exempted from hotel quarantine, and will be subject to home quarantine:


1. Unvaccinated children aged below 18, whether returning from travel alone or with their parents, are home quarantined for (7) days, provided that both parents are vaccinated. 

2. Vaccinated individuals who received their second dose in Qatar and have NOT completed the specified period of (14) days from the date of the second dose are home quarantined for (7) days or until they complete the duration of (14) days following the second dose, whichever is shorter.

3. Unvaccinated individuals aged 75 and above are home quarantined with one escort from the same household.

4. Pregnant women returning to the country with their vaccinated husbands, or a vaccinated relative from the same household.

5. Lactating mothers and their infants aged 2 years and below returning to the country with their vaccinated husbands or a vaccinated relative from the same household.

6. Unvaccinated patients treated abroad at the expenses of the State with one escort from the same household. This applies after assessing the patient’s health condition by the relevant department at MOPH. 

7. ​​The above-mentioned groups must sign an undertaking showing their compliance with the home quarantine measures. However, for those aged below 18, their parents or guardian shall sign the undertaking affirming their children’s compliance with the home quarantine regulations. 


COVID-19 VACCINE


What if I didn’t get my COVID-19 vaccination in Qatar?

In this case, an official vaccination card or certificate from the country where the vaccine was obtained should be presented to the medical team at the ports of entry upon arrival. The vaccines must be recognized by MoPH in Qatar. 


What are the COVID-19 vaccines approved by the Ministry?

MoPH issued its approval for the following vaccinations:

• Pfizer BioNTech

• Moderna

• Astrazeneca

• Covishield (Astrazeneca)

• Janssen/Johnson & Johnson

• Sinopharm


​​​Travelers must present an official vaccination certificate or card that includes the following information:​​

• Name of the recipient as mentioned in their official documents; 

• Date of Birth

• Date of dose receipt depending on the type of vaccine;

• Type of vaccine; 

• Vaccine Lot number (preferable); and

• ​Official logo and stamp of the vaccination authority.


EHTERAZ APP


Do I need an Ehteraz App upon arrival in Qatar?

• ​It is mandatory for travelers to install and activate the Ehteraz app on their mobile phone using locally authorized SIM cards that can be obtained from one of the local providers (Ooredoo or Vodafone).

• ​ITravelers arriving or returning to Qatar must download and activate the Ehteraz app on their mobiles upon arrival at the Port of Entry (PoE). To achieve that the below must be obtained by the traveler:

- A Qatari SIM Card from a local telecom operator (Ooredoo and Vodafone).

- Internet access

- A smartphone that supports either Android 6 and up or IOS 13.5 and  higher.

- Download the application on your mobile phone either via Google Play or Apple App Store or from any search engines on the internet.

- Knowing that, SIM cards and smartphones are available for purchase at HUA Airport and Abu Samra port if the traveler does NOT have them before arrival.


How to identify the color codes in my Ehteraz app?

• Health status on Ehteraz will remain YELLOW for the whole of quarantine duration, and until a negative COVID-19 test result is obtained as per the quarantine policy stated above.

• Health Status on Ehteraz for the fully vaccinated individuals in Qatar will remain GREEN with a • Golden Frame to indicate they are exempted from quarantine if their PCR test result was negative and they completed (14) days after the second dose.

• The Health Status on Ehteraz for citizens and residents who have been vaccinated abroad will remain GREEN without Golden Frame until their vaccination data are updated in the system. 


Who are the passengers NOT required to install the Ehteraz app?

• Diplomats, administrative cardholders, and VVIP visitors are exempted.


ARRIVAL


What can I expect when arriving at Hamad International Airport?

All passengers will be thermal screened at HIA. All arriving passengers will be asked to show the EHTERAZ application, complete a health assessment form preferably filled prior to arrival into Doha and submitted upon arrival.


Can I be picked up by friends or family from the airport when I arrive?

Passengers returning with a Discover Qatar hotel booking will be transported to their quarantine hotel.


Does HIA provide face shields? Where can I get one at the airport?

The airport does not provide face shields; however, they are available for purchase at pharmacies, retail outlets and vending machines throughout the terminal. Also, our national airline, Qatar Airways, provides their passengers with a face shield on board of the aircraft.


Are shops, restaurants, and duty free available for arrivals?

HIA’s terminal is open and operational. Most of its Food and Beverage (F&B) outlets are also operational with passengers following social distancing measures. It encourages cashless transactions through cards.


Are E-Gates still open and available for use?

E-gates are currently NOT operational. 


DEPARTURE


Can people be dropped off at HIA?

Yes, however, HIA strongly advises departing passengers to check their flight status with the airline. You can refer to its website for contact details pertaining to all airlines and government entities.


Can I still come to HIA if I am not travelling?

No. Only Passengers with valid airline tickets will be permitted in the terminal.


Is checking Ehteraz status required to access the terminal?

Yes, All departing passengers will be asked to show their green status on the EHTERAZ application before entering the terminal.


Is HIA screening passengers?

HIA continually conducts entry screening for all arriving passengers and crew terminating in Doha on a 24/7 basis. It has installed advanced thermal cameras that can remotely record the body temperature of each passenger. If a passenger is detected to have fever, they are transferred to the special clinic at the airport arrivals side.


INDIVIDUALS WHO RECOVERED FROM COVID-19


How about those not fully vaccinated but recovered from COVID-19?

• GCC citizens and residents who  recovered from COVID-19 infection during the last (9) months and have then received a single dose of vaccine  are exempted from quarantine once (14) days passed after vaccination , provided they had a negative pre-travel PCR test valid for (72) hours and they required documents stated below.

• The same exemption apply to those who have been infected after receiving a single dose of vaccine, provided that (14) days has elapsed since the diagnosis. 


UMRAH TRAVELLERS


What are the conditions for those travelling from Umrah?

• Citizens and residents who came from Umrah and cannot provide a valid PCR test certificate should be allowed to board their flights but they must undergo PCR test upon arrival at Hamad International Airport or Abu Samra port on a standard fee of QAR 300/- per test.

• All travelers must be vaccinated following KSA rules that only vaccinated individuals could perform Umrah and visit Makkah.

• Individuals planning to travel for Umrah should refer to the policy and procedures announced by the Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs.


GCC CITIZENS


What are the guidelines for GCC citizens?

• ​GCC citizens, their families, and their household workers are allowed to enter the State of Qatar at any time, provided they follow the travel and return policy.

• ​GCC Citizens, their families, and their household workers should have a mandatory pre-travel COVID-19 PCR test result valid for (72) hours before arrival to Qatar from testing centers approved by their local health authority to do COVID-19 PCR tests.


• GCC citizens will be required to do PCR test at HIA or Abu Samra upon arrival with additional fees of QR300 payable using a bank card or through an online link which will be sent to the individual’s mobile number immediately after registering in HIA or Abu Samra Clinics.  

• Fully vaccinated GCC citizens who received any of the COVID-19 vaccines recognized in Qatar with at least (14) days since the last dose and present an official vaccination card or certificate are exempted from quarantine.

• GCC citizens must present the following documents to be eligible for quarantine exemption:

- ​An approved vaccination certificate with the date of their single dose;

- An approved medical certificate showing the date of their COVID-19 infection;

- Negative PCR test result from swab taken within 72 hours prior to entering Qatar.

Note: All of the quarantine exemptions mentioned above are NOT applicable to GCC citizens who are traveling to Qatar from any of the 6 East Asian countries where mandatory hotel quarantine applies.​

• GCC citizens, their families, and their household workers who were unvaccinated or did NOT meet the quarantine exemption criteria, are hotel quarantined at their own expense for a week, provided that the hotel quarantine package is booked through the “Discover Qatar​​” website before traveling to the State of Qatar, and their health status on Ehteraz app will be YELLOW.


TRAVEL GUIDE


Where can I find the most up to date travel advice?

To stay up to date with the latest travel advice, visit Ministry of Public Health Qatar


Important Notice: ​​It is the responsibility of individuals to ensure that they are updated with any changes in the Entry and Return policy of Qatar through the official sources and the sites mentioned above before planning their trip.​


If you find this article useful, share it with those you think who need to read this. Bookmark this page for your future travel guide. Have a safe trip!

 

Any suggestions or ideas on travelling to or from Qatar this period? Tell us in the comments.

Comments