As a new strain of COVID019 has been detected in India, The Ministry of Public Health has announced new protocols. In order to preserve public health in the State of Qatar, it was decided that no exceptions to the hotel quarantine policy will apply. Following measures should be implemented for travellers coming from India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Philippines. This applies to them whether they are travelling through direct flight or via other countries (transit), which include:
1. 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.
2. All arrivals from those countries must undergo (10) days quarantine in a dedicated quarantine facility, or (14) days if quarantined at Mekhaines facility.
3. Home quarantine criteria is not applicable for travellers coming from these countries, including the exemptions due to vaccination or recovery from a previous infection with the virus during the past six months.
4. All arrivals from those countries must undergo a repeat COVID-19 PCR test at the quarantine facility within one day of arrival. Knowing that the PCR test will be repeated during and before the end of the quarantine period.
5. 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.
The Ministry affirmed, in a statement, that it is closely monitoring the situation, and taking the necessary measures in accordance with public health indicators in the State of Qatar and worldwide, encouraging the population to adhere to the precautionary measures in order to preserve the health and safety of everyone. It is known that the new strains, including the one discovered in India, are more capable of spreading, and more research is being conducted at the present time to identify the speed of this spread and the extent of its impact on the lives of those infected with it.
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