Qatar Scraps COVID-19 Entry Test Requirement for World Cup Fans

By: Gyang Dakwo

World Cup host Qatar has scrapped a requirement for visitors to obtain a negative COVID-19 test before departing for the Gulf Arab state, its health ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

Previously, Qatar had told fans attending the World Cup they must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test regardless of their vaccination status, before departing by air or at the border crossing.

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.

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

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

According to the statement, 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.”

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