Qatar has reopened its borders to international tourists who have been completely vaccinated against COVID-19, as it prepares for what is perhaps the world’s second-largest athletic event next year.
A new simplified set of measures has been implemented to make travelling to Qatar as simple as possible while yet keeping the required protections to prevent the virus from spreading.
People who have been fully vaccinated will be able to visit Qatar without having to go through quarantine. All guests, whether vaccinated or not, will be asked to take a PCR test up to 72 hours prior to travel.
Comirnaty (mRNA vaccine) by Pfizer BioNTech, Spikevax by ModernaTX, Inc., Vaxzevra, Covishield by Oxford-Astrazeneca, Janssen/Johnson & Johnson, Sinopharm are among the vaccines that have been approved. Furthermore, the vaccination must have been completed at least 14 days prior to travel.
International tourists, citizens, and residents must register on the ‘Ehteraz’ website (www.ehteraz.gov.qa) and upload relevant papers such as a vaccination certificate, valid PCR test up to 72 hours prior to travel, and personal details in order to enter Qatar.
Qatar Tourism said in a statement: “Travellers have to apply for the authorization through the ‘Ehteraz’ website (free of charge), at least 12 hours before their planned departure to Qatar. All in-bound travellers are advised to submit their application as soon as they have all their required documentation, to ensure they can board their flights as planned. Airlines are advised to only let passengers board who have a valid travel authorisation for Qatar from the above effective date.”
All of this is being done to get the Middle East Gulf nation ready for its official world debut next year, when Qatar hosts the FIFA World Cup in 2022. Behind the Olympics, the World Cup is regarded as the world’s largest, or at the very least, the second-largest sporting event.
And Qatar is keeping a close eye on the results of this year’s Olympics.
The Summer Games are set to begin in Tokyo in 12 days, but they will be a year late after being postponed due to the pandemic in 2020. There will also be no spectators at any Olympic sport due to the potential of the Delta Variant and other probable viral strains.