Qatar has a mobile application to help speed up the process of contact tracing as part of its effort to combat the spread of COVID-19.
The EHTERAZ app was first announced on April 9, 2020, at a press conference held by the Supreme Committee for Crisis Management. Starting May 22, 2020, it's a must for citizens and residents to download it. The IloveQatar.net (ILQ) team has compiled a list of frequently asked questions about the EHTERAZ app.
UPDATE NOVEMBER 1, 2022:
Starting November 1, 2022, it's only mandatory for individuals to present the health status of the Ehteraz application when entering public and private healthcare facilities in Qatar. Visitors entering Qatar are not required to pre-register on the Ehteraz health application prior to arrival.
Ever since the app was released, it has had multiple updates and additions to it. Find the list of updates at the bottom of this article.
1. What is the EHTERAZ app?
The development of Ehteraz, Qatar’s contact tracing app, has provided an advanced application to support public health teams in monitoring the spread of the virus and identifying people who may be at risk of having contracted COVID-19.
The fast development and launch of the Ehteraz app meant Qatar was one of the first countries in the world to roll out a COVID-19 contact tracing app nationally.
Mandatory for all adults in Qatar, the Ehteraz application provides live status of each person’s current COVID-19 health and vaccination status.
2. Who needs to download Ehteraz? (Is EHTERAZ app compulsory?)
It is mandatory for all citizens, residents and visitors to install the Ehteraz App on their bile phones and have it running at all times when outside of their home. Citizens and residents should use their QID to register and visitors should use their visit visa number.
In some cases, and only if in the accompaniment of another adult who has downloaded the Ehteraz App, the following groups are exempt from installing the Ehteraz App: Minors under the age of 18 years, individuals over the age of 65 years old, and individuals with special needs. Any individuals who are moving around the country alone, even in the above categories, must download the Ehteraz App and present it upon request.
Diplomats have a special status and are exempt except in the case they are COVID-19 positive, in which case they must also download the app.
5. Can non-residents activate the Ehteraz app? (non-QID holders)
Visitors will be able to activate the EHTERAZ mobile application using an international SIM card. Non-residents of Qatar must pre-register via an online registration platform (www.ehteraz.gov.qa) at least 3 days before arrival.
6. What is the Ehteraz Mobile Application Policy for visitors?
According to the Ministry of Public Health as of September 2022:
Travelers arriving in Qatar must download on their mobile phone devices and activate the Ehteraz app upon arrival at Qatar’s entry ports. To do so, the traveler must have the following:
SIM card from one of Qatar's service providers (Ooredoo or Vodafone) or an international SIM card.
Mobile internet connection.
The smartphone should support Android 6, newer versions or IOS 13.5 and later versions.
Download and install the app on the mobile phone either via Google Play, Apple App Store or from any online search engines.
SIM cards and smartphones are available for purchase at Hamad International Airport and Abu Samra border crossing if the passenger does not own them before arrival.
The Ehteraz mobile application with health status indicated as Green is required to gain access to public facilities around Qatar.
The Heath Status on the Ehteraz mobile app for fully vaccinated persons in Qatar will be in green with a golden frame.
The Health Status for citizens, residents, visitors who have received the vaccine outside Qatar will remain green without a golden frame until their vaccine data is updated in the system or through the Overseas Vaccine Portal (www.ehteraz.gov.qa).
The Health Status on the Ehteraz app will remain red throughout the isolation period, until the result of their COVID-19 test comes out negative.
Diplomats, administrative card holders and VIP visitors arriving on official state visits are excluded from this measure.
7. Which hotline number can I call to ask about the app?
For all technical-related questions and inquiries, you can call 109.
For health-related questions and inquiries, you can call 16000.
8. What languages are available?
Only two languages are currently available, Arabic and English.
9. The Ehteraz app is not compatible with some older models of mobile - what can people with these older models do to prove their status when requested?
Everyone other than the above certain exemptions must download the Ehteraz App, and there are many smartphones that are compatible with downloading the App, both Android and IOS, and in all price categories.
10. Why does the app need Bluetooth and location to be always turned on?
Bluetooth is used by the app to determine proximity and contact with other individuals around you. This enables the Ehteraz app to protect you by alerting you when you are in close proximity to someone who is positive for COVID-19.
11. The app uses up a lot of data - am I being charged for this to keep the Bluetooth running?
No, both Vodafone and Ooredoo have waived data charges related to Ehteraz and there will be no data costs for users.
12. Why does it need access to storage?
According to the Ministry of Interior's reply to Google Play Store reviews, storage permission is required to check the rooted or jailbroken device for security.
13. Does Ehteraz access my photos and folders on my mobile?
The Ehteraz App, and the Ehteraz support team, do not have access to your photos and folders on your mobile. In some phones, particularly Android, the Ehteraz App is stored in the same location as the photos but does not have access to them.
14. What is the penalty for not downloading the EHTERAZ app?
As per the Cabinet decision on 18 May 2020, non-compliance with these decisions, the penalties stipulated in Decree-Law No. (17) for the year 1990 regarding the prevention of infectious diseases shall be applied to the violator by imprisonment for a period not exceeding three years and a fine not exceeding (200,000) two hundred thousand riyals or one of these two penalties.
15. What information does Ehteraz provide for the user?
The Health Status display on Ehteraz confirms the COVID-19 status of the user through four colours:
Red: Confirmed Infected. The Red status is displayed if the user has tested positive for COVID-19 after having a PCR or Rapid Antigen Test at an authorized medical centre in Qatar.
Yellow: Quarantine. People with a yellow status are considered at risk of having COVID-19 (i.e. have recently travelled abroad, have been in verified close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual) and therefore in order to protect these individuals as well as other people in the community, have been placed under mandatory quarantine in MOPH-approved quarantine facility. These individuals must stay in their designated quarantine location; otherwise they will be deemed in violation.
Gray: Post-travel test/Suspected/Exposed. People with a gray status are suspected of having COVID-19, or recent travel; and have been tested for COVID-19 and awaiting results or require a COVID-19 test as soon as possible, including those required to perform a post-travel COVID-19 test
Green: Negative. The green status is displayed if the user does not have COVID-19. This may include people who have had a COVID-19 positive test result in the past, but have recovered.
Previous COVID-19 test status
Last COVID-19 test date.
Test result with number of days since a negative test.
Recovered Status and Date of recovery for previously infected individuals.
COVID-19 vaccine type
Date of first dose
Date of second dose
Date of booster (third) dose
Gold Frame for fully vaccinated individuals
A Gold Frame will be present around the coloured health status of users who are fully vaccinated as per the below:
Individuals who have had two doses of MOPH approved COVID-19 vaccines and no more than 9 months have passed following administration of the second dose.
Individuals who have received their booster dose – a booster dose will ensure the Gold Frame remains for a further 9 months.
16. Do unvaccinated recovered individuals receive a Gold Frame on Ehteraz?
No. Individuals who are recovered from COVID-19 are eligible for the same privileges as vaccinated people under the current COVID-19 restrictions.
However, these individuals will not receive a Gold Frame. To prove their recovered status, they can show the recovered date on their Ehteraz application to relevant authorities.
17. When will the Red Ehteraz Health Status return to Green for confirmed cases?
Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 with a PCR or Rapid Antigen Test at an approved medical centre will have their Ehteraz Health Status turned to Red for a minimum of 7 days.
These individuals will be required to have a rapid antigen test at a medical facility authorized by the Ministry on day 7.
Any tests done before day 7, even if a negative result is received, will not change the Ehteraz status to Green.
If the day 7 rapid antigen test is positive, the individual must undergo a further 3 days of isolation and will be given an additional 3 days of sick-leave and they are free to leave isolation on day 11 with no requirement for a further test.
18. What change occurs to Ehteraz if an individual has a Reactive test result?
A reactive PCR test indicates that a low level COVID-19 infection has been detected, which could be either the start or latter stages of the infection.
Individuals who test Reactive for COVID-19 with a PCR at an approved medical centre will have their Ehteraz Status turned to Yellow for 7 days.
These individuals will be required to have a rapid antigen test at a medical facility authorized by the Ministry on day 7.
If the result of this test is negative or reactive, the individual’s Ehteraz status will change to green after midnight and they will be able to leave isolation and return to work on day 8.
If the day 7 rapid antigen test is positive, the Ehteraz status will change to red. The individual must undergo a further 3 days of isolation and will be given an additional 3 days of sick-leave, and they are free to leave isolation on day 11 (counting from date of reactive swab) with no requirement for a further test.
19. How long does it take for PCR and Rapid Antigen Test results to be reflected in the Ehteraz Health Status?
At Primary Health Care Corporation facilities: results will be reflected in Ehteraz approximately six hours after the user receives the test result SMS.
At private clinics and medical centers authorized by MOPH and linked to Ehteraz: results will be reflected in Ehteraz approximately six hours after the user receives the test result SMS.
Rapid Antigen Tests
At Primary Health Care Corporation facilities: results will be reflected in Ehteraz approximately six hours after the test.
At private clinics and medical centers authorized by MOPH and linked to Ehteraz: results will be reflected in Ehteraz approximately six hours after the test.
20. I believe my Ehteraz Health Status colour should have changed by now, yet it has not. What can I do?
Delete any VPN installed and make sure you are connected to a local network.
Clear the cache
Restart the device
Delete the Ehteraz App and then reinstall
Ensure that the latest version of the Ehteraz app is installed
21. I took my RAT at a private clinic, but my Ehteraz has not changed after 6 hours.
Call the clinic to ensure they uploaded the result to the MOPH/HMC systems.
22. I was vaccinated outside Qatar. How do I request the Gold Frame?
Individuals can verify their vaccination abroad via MOPH by calling 16000 who will take all the information and copies of the vaccination certificates from abroad, and send the information to be verified. If verified, it will be uploaded to Ehteraz.
Even if the vaccination information from outside Qatar is sent to Ehteraz, official MOPH vaccination certificates from Qatar are not available for those individuals who received all vaccine doses from abroad, and the individual should rely on the vaccination certificate from the country where they received the vaccination.
23. Will I lose my Gold Frame if I have not received my booster vaccine dose?
From 1 February 2022, individuals whose second COVID-19 vaccine dose was more than 9 months ago, and who have not received their booster dose, will be considered unvaccinated and will lose their Gold Frame status on Ehteraz.
Receiving a booster vaccine dose will reinstate their Gold Frame status for a further 9 months. Those who have recovered from COVID-19 will be treated as immunized individuals for 9 months from their recovery date.
24. What happens if my status changes, will I be informed?
If your status changes you will receive an alert notification via the Ehteraz App and the Ministry of Public Health surveillance team will contact you.
25. What should I do if I receive an alert notification informing me that I am close to a COVID-19 positive person?
The "pop-up" notifications alert you immediately within 1 minute that you are within a certain proximity of someone with COVID-19, and in order to protect yourself, you should immediately move away from people around you when you receive this notification, and practice protective and social distancing measures.
If you receive a notification that you have been in close proximity of less than 2 meters for more than 15 minutes of a positive COVID-19 case, then please follow the instructions within the message and avoid close contact with family and community un you are cleared.
26. App keeps crashing and showing an error
The 109 contact center staff advised restarting the phone as well as uninstalling and reinstalling the application.