| 30 November 2023, Thursday |

Qatar scraps COVID entry test requirement for World Cup fans

Qatar’s health ministry announced on Wednesday that it will no longer require visitors to have a negative COVID-19 test before visiting the Gulf Arab state.

Previously, Qatar instructed World Cup fans to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test, regardless of vaccination status, before departing by air or crossing the border.

Qatar is expecting an unprecedented 1.2 million visitors during the Nov. 20-Dec. 18 tournament.

Qatar residents are no longer to take a COVID-19 test within 24 hours of returning to the country from abroad.

The health ministry also dropped a requirement that adults show their COVID-19 status on a government-run contact tracing smartphone application called Ehteraz before entering stadiums or other establishments like shops and restaurants.

Visitors and residents must still show the application before entering a healthcare facility, the statement said.


Qatar is easing restrictions because “the number of COVID-19 cases (is) continuing to drop around the world and in Qatar, and the ongoing roll-out of Qatar’s National COVID-19 Vaccination Program,” the statement said.

Last week, Qatar eased its mask rules and now only requires masks for people visiting healthcare facilities.

Qatar, which has a population of nearly 3 million, has recorded more than 440,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 692 deaths from the virus, according to data from the Ministry of Public Health.

  • Reuters