Qatar to scrap mandatory Covid-19 tests ahead of World Cup
Qatar will scrap mandatory Covid-19 tests ahead of the start of the World Cup next month, the country’s health ministry has said.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) said visitors will no longer have to present a negative PCR or rapid antigen test result before travelling to the country.
The MoPH also urged those travelling to Qatar to “follow standard precautionary measures to reduce the risk of infection” – including full vaccination against Covid-19.
Performing regular hand hygiene, getting tested if experiencing Covid symptoms, and following a healthy lifestyle were also listed as “needs” in their statement.
The MoPH said the decision by the country’s Council of Ministers to scrap Covid tests for visitors was made due to “the number of Covid-19 cases continuing to fall around the world and in Qatar”.
The new guidance will come into effect on November 1.
In September World Cup organisers had said fans must display a negative Covid-19 test when they arrived in the country.
The organisers also previously said all visitors aged 18 and over must download a government-run phone application tracking people’s movements and health status, called Ehteraz.
The new guidance was published on the same day the Foreign Secretary James Cleverly came under fire for suggesting LGBT football fans heading to the World Cup in Qatar should be “respectful of the host nation”.
Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker responded to Mr Cleverly’s comments on Twitter, writing: “Whatever you do, don’t do anything Gay. Is that the message?”
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