Qatar Implements Additional Measures Against Pandemic

Starting March 27, 2020, non-essential businesses will be shut down, while vital businesses are excluded from the closure. Shops that remain open can only operate from 6 AM to 7 PM.

These issues were proclaimed in the recently held conference of the Supreme Committee for Crisis Management. These precautionary measures are part of the efforts of the government to contain the outbreak. (SEE ALSO: 12 New COVID-19 Cases in Qatar Total Now at 549)

temporary closure of some businesses

Non-Essential Businesses Ordered to Shut Down

Following the briefing from the Supreme Committee for Crisis and Management, subsequent precautionary measures will be observed in Qatar, starting March 27, 2020. Non-essential businesses such as: cafes and cafeterias, education services and support centers, centres providing arts, theatrical and entertainment services, wedding and event services shops, and shoe and watch repair kiosks will be closed. Meanwhile, businesses providing vital services like: food stores, pharmacies, delivery services (including food services) will remain open. However, business hours will now start at 6 AM until 7 PM.

Here is the message on Twitter:

Other establishments have been ordered closed since March 18, 2020. This includes the large malls and shopping centers, salons, barber shops, etc.

Earlier, His Highness the Prime Minister announced the law that bans public gathering. Gatherings refer to: social gatherings, celebrations and weddings, going to public parks and beaches, attending funerals or use of transportation for non-essential travels. (SEE ALSO: Qatar Enacts Law to Ban Group Gathering)

The government has also declared remittance centers to close on March 26, 2020 until further notice. This refers to centers offering in-person transaction and transfer services. It is recommended to use online exchange service, mobile applications or Ooredoo Money while the remittance centers are closed.

Here is the statement from the Government Communications Office:

The Government of the State of Qatar announced the temporary closure of in-person money exchange and transfer service offices in Qatar starting effective 26 March.

This is part of wider measures introduced by the Government to close non-essential shops and public spaces to tackle the COVID-19 virus. The most important thing that the people of Qatar can do to contain the spread of the virus is to reduce day-to-day contact with other people.

Throughout the period of closure, money can be transferred through online exchange services, mobile applications and Ooredoo Money. All services allow users to transfer money abroad instantly either online or through their phone.

Full guidance on how to access and use these alternative services will be made available in multiple languages across multiple sites and channels in Qatar.”

Government offices have also encouraged people to use apps to minimize person-to-person contact. One of the apps is Metrash2, where transactions can be made online and any documents that need to be delivered will be sent through Qatar Post. Some transactions are now also done online or through electronic services or a hotline.

Meanwhile, health officials regularly conduct cleaning and sanitizing of public places in different municipalities. Sanitation and disinfection of containers in residential areas and hospitals are also done regularly.

These measures are implemented to enhance social distancing, and thus to prevent the further spread of the pandemic. Quarantine and lock down are also implemented in some areas. The public is also called on to adhere to these regulations, as it is considered a national and moral obligation to them. Most importantly, those who will not follow the regulations will be held accountable.