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Posted On: 9 May 2021 10:20 pm
Updated On: 12 May 2021 04:40 pm

All you need to know about the gradual lifting of COVID-19 restrictions in Qatar

Vrinda Abilash
Vrinda Abilash
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All you need to know about Phase 2 of the gradual lifting of COVID-19 restrictions in Qatar

The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) and Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) jointly held a press conference on 9 May 2021 and announced that the gradual lifting of restrictions is divided into 4 stages. According to the announcement in the press conference, the first phase begins on 28 May and may even begin on 23 May, if the public continues to adhere to the precautionary measures.

MoPH also announced that public compliance to precautionary measures will play a key role in the successful implementation of this plan. The Ministry urged people to:

  • Wear the mask
  • Keep a physical distance of 1.5 m from others
  • Take the COVID-19 vaccine when it's their turn to do so

The stages as per the Ministry are as follows:

  • The first stage from May 28
  • The second stage from June 18
  • The third stage from July 9
  • Fourth stage from July 30

GATHERINGS

Phase 1

    • Allow social gatherings for vaccinated people with up to 10 people outdoors (or 5 if it includes unvaccinated people) and 5 people indoors. Unvaccinated people can only gather outdoors with a maximum of 5 people.
    • Allow the continuation of daily and Friday prayers in mosques, with no children under 12 years old allowed, and the closure of toilets and ablution areas.
    • Not allow wedding parties. Such parties will be allowed starting phase two, with certain restrictions on venues and capacity.

    Phase 2

    • No more than 10 vaccinated people and no more than 5 unvaccinated or mixed groups indoors. No more than 20 vaccinated people and no more than 10 unvaccinated or mixed groups outdoors.
    • Mosques are open for daily prayers and Friday prayers and children under 10 are not allowed in mosques. Toilets and ablution facilities remain closed.
    • Hotels and wedding venues are allowed with no more than 40 people and 75% of attendees must be vaccinated.

    Phase 3

    • No more than 15 vaccinated people are allowed indoors. No more than 5 unvaccinated or mixed groups are allowed indoors. No more than 30 vaccinated people are allowed outdoors. No more than 15 unvaccinated or mixed groups are allowed outdoors.
    • Mosques will be open for daily prayers and Friday prayers. Children under 7 will not be allowed. Toilets and ablution facilities remain closed.
    • Weddings to be held in hotels and venues only. No more than 80 people allowed. % of attendees must be vaccinated.

    TRANSPORTATION

    Phase 1

    • Allow personal boats with a maximum capacity of 10 people (only 2 of which may be unvaccinated). Excursion and touristic boats will remain suspended, while rental boats will be allowed only for families from the same household. All staff must be vaccinated.
    • Allow the operation of public transport at 30% capacity, including Fridays and Saturdays.
    • Allow the re-opening of driving schools at 30% capacity. Vaccinated staff are to allowed run lessons.

    Phase 2

    • Private boats, boat rentals, and tourist boats will be allowed. Up to 15 vaccinated people or up to 3 unvaccinated people allowed. All boat workers must be vaccinated.
    • All public transport will operate at 30% capacity. Smoking areas will remain closed in metros. Food outlets will be subject to the same rules as restaurants and cafes.
    • Driving schools will continue operating at 30% capacity. Vaccinated employees allowed in driving schools. Only vaccinated employees will be allowed to administer lessons.

    Phase 3

    • Private boats allowed to operate at 50% capacity. Boat rentals and tourist boats allowed to operate at 30%. Up to 20 vaccinated people (up to 4 unvaccinated people are allowed) on boats. All boat staff must be vaccinated.
    • All public transport will operate at 50% capacity. Buses will operate at 30% capacity. Smoking areas will remain closed in metros. Food outlets will be subject to the same rules as restaurants and cafes.
    • Driving schools allowed to operate at 50% capacity. Vaccinated employees allowed in driving schools. Only vaccinated employees will be allowed to administer lessons.

    OUTDOOR AND PROFESSIONAL SPORTS

    Phase 1

    • Allow groups of 5 people and members of the same household to gather in parks, beaches and corniche, with capacity of private beaches limited to 30%.
    • Allow preparatory training for local and international tournaments approved by the Ministry of Public Health. Professional training allowed indoors and outdoors. Amateur sports training allowed for vaccinated people only with a capacity of 10 outdoors and 5 indoors.
    • Allow selected professional sports events with a vaccinated spectator capacity of 30% outdoors only.

    Phase 2

    • Groups of up to 10 people are allowed. Private beaches to operate at up to 40% capacity.
    • Training allowed for MOPH-approved local and international tournaments. Sports training for professionals allowed indoors and outdoors. Amateur training:
      • 20 vaccinated people outdoors.
      • 10 vaccinated people indoors.
    • Select sporting events to be held. Fans allowed outdoors at 30% capacity (provided that at least 75% are vaccinated). Vaccinated fans allowed indoors at up to 20% capacity.

    Phase 3

    • Groups of up to 15 people are allowed in parks, corniche and beaches. The use of playgrounds and sports equipment will be allowed. Private beaches to operate at up to 50% capacity.
    • Training allowed for MOPH-approved local and international tournaments. Sports training for professionals allowed indoors and outdoors. Amateur training:
      • 30 vaccinated people outdoors.
      • 15 vaccinated people indoors.
    • Fans allowed outdoors at 50% capacity in local and international sporting events, indoors at 30% capacity and 75% of fans must be vaccinated.

    EDUCATION

    Phase 1

    • Allow blended learning in schools at 30% capacity.
    • Continue to allow 1:5 sessions in special needs centers. All instructors must be vaccinated.
    • Allow training centers to operate at 30% capacity. All trainers must be vaccinated.
    • Allow the re-opening of nurseries and childcare centers at a maximum capacity of 30%. All staff must be vaccinated.

    Phase 2

    • Blended learning (at maximum 30% capacity).
    • Continue to allow 1:5 sessions in special needs centers. All instructors must be vaccinated.
    • Private educational centres and training centres to work at 30% capacity with vaccinated trainers.
    • Nurseries and childcare facilities to resume operation at 30% capacity with vaccinated employees.

    Phase 3

    • Blended learning at a maximum of 50% capacity.
    • Continue to allow 1:5 sessions in special needs centers. All instructors must be vaccinated.
    • Private educational centres and training centres to work at 50% capacity with only vaccinated trainers.
    • Nurseries and childcare facilities to work at 50% capacity with only vaccinated employees.

      BUSINESS AND LEISURE

      Phase 1

      • Maintain shopping malls capacity at 30% and closure of food courts (except for pick-up and delivery), while children under 12 will not be allowed.
      • Allow outdoor dining at 30% capacity for all restaurants, and 30% indoor (for vaccinated clients only) capacity for restaurants that are part of the Qatar Clean Program.
      • Allow souqs to operate at 30% capacity, including Fridays and Saturdays, with no children under 12 allowed.
      • Maintain capacity in wholesale markets at 30%, with no children under 12 allowed.
      • Allow the re-opening of theme parks and leisure centers at 30% capacity outdoors. Indoor activities will be limited to vaccinated people only with a maximum capacity of 20%.
      • Allow gyms and health clubs to re-open at 30% capacity only for vaccinated clients. All staff must be vaccinated.
      • Allow swimming pools and water parks to re-open at 30% capacity outdoors. Indoor activities will be limited to vaccinated people only with a maximum capacity of 20%.
      • Allow the re-opening of cinemas and theatres at a maximum capacity of 30% for only vaccinated people over 16 years old.
      • Allow the re-opening of barbershops and hairdressers at a maximum capacity of 30% for vaccinated clients. All staff must be vaccinated.
      • Allow the re-opening of museums and libraries at a maximum capacity of 30%.
      • Allow cleaning and hospitality services as follows:
        • At homes: Vaccinated staff can work in more than one household and each house may have more than one vaccinated staff member.
        • At workplaces: Vaccinated staff can operate at 30% capacity during working hours.
      • Maintain capacity at the workplace at 50%, with essential business meetings limited to 15 vaccinated people.
      • Not allow holding conferences, exhibitions and cultural events. Such events will be allowed starting phase two, based on risk assessment by the Ministry of Public Health and with restrictions on capacity.

      Phase 2

      • Increase to 80% capacity at the workplace. Allow essential business meetings for a maximum of 15 people (including 5 non-vaccinated people).
      • Allow select exhibitions, conferences, and fairs with a capacity of 30% following a risk assessment and approval of MOPH.
      • Museums and public libraries to be allowed to operate at 50% capacity.
      • Shopping Centres to operate at an increased capacity of 50%, operating food courts at 30% capacity, opening mosques and toilets.
      • Shopping centres to be exclusively open for those above 12 years old.
      • Traditional markets to be allowed at a capacity of 50%, open exclusively for those above 12 years old.
      • Wholesale markets to be allowed at a capacity of 50%, open exclusively for those above 12 years old.
      • Allowing outdoor dining at restaurants and cafes at 40% capacity, allowing indoor dining at 30% capacity for “Clean Qatar” certified restaurants for vaccinated customers only.
      • Opening cinemas and theatres at 30% capacity for fully vaccinated people, exclusively for those above 12 years old. 75% of customers to be vaccinated.
      • Hospitality and cleaning services:
        • At homes: vaccinated employees can provide services for more than one home, and services can be provided by more than one vaccinated individuals.
        • At work: vaccinated employees can provide services at 50% capacity during working hours.
      • Gyms, training clubs and spas to be allowed to operate at 40% for vaccinated customers only. All employees should be vaccinated.
      • Barbershops and beauty salons to be in operation at 30% capacity. Customers and employees vaccinated.
      • Swimming pools and waterparks to be allowed to operate outdoor pools at 30% capacity. Operating indoor pools at 20% for those who are vaccinated only.
      • Amusement parks and entertainment centres to operate outdoors at 30% capacity, indoors at 20% capacity and 75% of customers to be vaccinated.

      Phase 3

      • Continue at 80% capacity at the workplace. Allow essential business meetings for a maximum of 15 people (including 5 non-vaccinated people).
      • Allow select exhibitions, conferences and fairs with a capacity of 30% following a risk assessment and approval of MOPH.
      • Allowing 50% capacity at museums and public libraries.
      • Continue at 50% capacity in shopping centres, increasing food courts to 30% capacity and allowing children.
      • Allow capacity at 50% in traditional markets, children allowed.
      • Allow capacity at 50% in wholesale markets, children allowed.
      • Allowing outdoor dining at 50% capacity in restaurants and cafes. Allowing indoor dining at 30% capacity for “Clean Qatar” certified restaurants and 75% of customers to be vaccinated.
      • Opening cinemas and theatres at 30% capacity for fully vaccinated people, exclusively open for those above 12 years old and 75% of customers to be vaccinated.
      • Hospitality and cleaning services:
        • At homes: vaccinated employees can provide services for more than one home, and services can be provided by more than one vaccinated individuals.
        • At work: vaccinated employees can provide services at 80% capacity during working hours.
      • Allowing operation at 50% in gyms, training clubs and spas. 75% of customers to be vaccinated. All employees should be vaccinated.
      • Allowing operation at 50% in barbershops and beauty salons. All employees should be vaccinated.
      • Operating outdoor pools at 40% in swimming pools and waterparks, indoor pools at 30% and 75% of customers to be vaccinated.
      • Outdoors at 40% capacity in amusement parks and entertainment centres, indoors at 30% capacity and 75% of customers to be vaccinated.

      RELATED NEWS: Ministry announces 4 phase plan to gradually lift COVID-19 restrictions in Qatar

      Source: MoPH press conference, GCO
      Cover image: Shutterstock