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Posted On: 28 September 2020 02:26 pm
Updated On: 28 September 2020 04:14 pm

What to expect at Mukaynis Quarantine (an expat’s experience)

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DISCLAIMER: The personal opinions and details expressed in this article are the writer's only. This was submitted by a resident who wishes to be kept anonymous.

Your experience returning to Qatar may be different and is dependent on several factors, including whether you are returning from a low or high-risk country. When returning to Qatar, we must all comply with visa entry procedures and quarantine guidelines – please see the relevant links listed below for more information.

Here is an expat's account of returning to Qatar from a high-risk country and completing quarantine at the Mukaynis Quarantine facility.

Before departure

The whole process of my journey back to Qatar started when my employer applied for my Exceptional Entry Permit. As soon as it was approved, my sponsor applied for my quarantine booking through the Discover Qatar website, where there's a separate booking section for the Mukaynis Quarantine.

Next came the flight tickets. They earlier booked me a Qatar Airways flight, so I had to undergo the COVID-19 swab test in one of the accredited laboratories by the airlines. The flight got cancelled, so they ended up booking an Indigo flight.

Departure from India to Qatar

Upon arrival at the check-in counter, the Indigo ground crew asked for my Entry Permit, Quarantine booking, and flight booking. Indigo doesn't require a swab test before departure, but we were given face shields to wear along with our face masks during the flight.

Onboard the plane, we were asked to fill out a Health Assessment Form and a quarantine pledge agreement.

Arrival at Hamad International Airport, Qatar

After arriving at HIA, just before the Immigration counters, there were airport officials who were checking if the people coming already downloaded the Ehteraz app on their mobile. If not, they were asked to download it using the airport's free WiFi or buy a Vodafone/Ooredoo mobile SIM first.

At the immigration counter, the officer checked my Entry Permit and Quarantine Booking aside from my passport and QID.

I then proceeded to the Discover Qatar reception inside the airport, where I showed my Quarantine Booking. We waited for around an hour, and then we were told to get on the bus that will take us to Mukaynis. Upon boarding, we had to show our booking voucher again to the driver before taking a seat. The bus was almost full, and the passengers were mixed - both male and female in one bus.

Mukaynis Quarantine Facility

Upon arrival at the Mukaynis quarantine facility, we lined up to take our first COVID-19 swab test inside a separate building, after which we were given our room numbers. The accommodation for males and females are different, and you can book a single room or shared accommodation. My Ehteraz turned yellow the day after the swab test.

14-days quarantine

Photo of the male shared room. Some of the food delivered during the quarantine. Photo submitted by the writer (resident who wishes to be kept anonymous)

Inside the room for the shared accommodation, there are two beds with a new bed sheet, pillow, and a blanket provided. There's a big ensuite bathroom with separation for the toilet and shower.

Aside from that, there are no other appliances in the room, and there's no WiFi. However, you're allowed to use your phone.

It's not allowed to go out of the building, although we could take a walk around the hallway. There's no provision for laundry, so you have to hand wash your clothes.

There are security cameras and security guards in the quarantine facility to ensure that people don't go out or loiter around. There are eight rooms in one building. The staff checked in on us every few days.

Food

Some of the food delivered during the quarantine. Photo submitted by the writer (resident who wishes to be kept anonymous)..

Along with the room, full board meals are provided. There are three mealtimes with breakfast delivered around 7 am to 8 am, lunch at around 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm, and dinner from around 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm. The meal trays are left outside the room door, and free water is provided.

My meals are Non-Vegetarian Indian and I was served Chapati or Parotta for breakfast along with Dal, Chicken Curry and Rice for lunch, and Chicken Biryani on Fridays. We were also served fish every other day. A juice box was served with every meal.

You can choose the meals (Dietary Requirements) during the booking process. The selections include meals for vegetarian, diabetic, and non-vegetarian in the following cuisines: Indian, Arabic, and Filipino. You can also include any food allergy you might have.

    End of quarantine

    On the 12th day of the quarantine, we did the 2nd swab test, and the result was given on the 14th day along with the clearance certificate if you're negative. After that, we packed up, boarded a small bus from the accommodation to the main gate, and we're free to go. I must say that the whole experience has been very organized and it was comfortable for me.

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