As the FIFA World Cup draws near, there have been a number of people coming in and going out of Qatar. It might get confusing, especially if the guidelines are constantly being updated.
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The football season is going to be an exciting period for Qatar, with an influx of fans and guests descending upon the Gulf Nation. Whether you are already in Qatar or are planning to visit during the World Cup season, keep on reading to know how you can navigate your way around.
A Guide on Entering and Leaving Qatar
An article that appeared on QatarLiving.com discusses the guidelines for guests and fans who will enter and leave Qatar. Take note of these guidelines to help you find your way.
For Qatar Residents
- Can enter the country by showing a valid QID and the EHTERAZ mobile application
- Do not need to have a pre-entry registration approval form from EHTERAZ
- Will need to provide updated vaccination information
- Will need to take a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) from a PHCC or any accredited private clinic within 24 hours after arriving from Qatar; the result will appear on the EHTERAZ app
For GCC Nationals
- Residents of all GCC countries, such as the UAE, Saudi Arabia, etc., can enter the country and get a visa upon arrival
- Exempted from undergoing a quarantine period, but will need to take a Rapid Antigen Test within 24 hours of arriving; those who test positive will undergo quarantine (this information is based on the latest guidelines as of writing)
- GCC and Qatar nationals do not need to register via EHTERAZ but are recommended to register before they arrive in the country
- Can use their country’s respective health apps to show their vaccination status
- The GCC Resident Visit Visa is valid for 30 days (or one month) and can be extended for another three months
- Those who overstay their visa will pay a QR200 penalty for every day they exceed their stay; they will have to settle their obligations with the Ministry of Interior before they can return to their country
For Family Visit Visa Holders
- After November 1, 2022, granting a Family Visit Visa will be suspended; instead, holders of a valid Hayya card will be allowed entry
- Holders of this visa will need to get a pre-entry approval from EHTERAZ; take note that airline officials and immigration officials will check this
- Will not need to undergo quarantine but will have to take a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT); those who test positive will undergo the prescribed quarantine period (based on current guidelines as of writing)
- Holders of this visa can either take a PCR test before arriving in Qatar or take a RAT once they arrive at a PHCC or MOPH-accredited private health center
- The Family Visit Visa is valid for 30 days (or one month) and can be extended for a small fee
- Immediate family members can extend their stay for up to 6 months, while other relatives can stay for another three months
- The same set of relatives who want to visit again can do so if their family member in Qatar applies for a Family Visit Visa after four months (or 180 days)
For Fans Who Will Watch FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar
- Will need to present the Hayya card to enter the country; there’s no need to get a visa
- To get a Hayya card, visit the website and fill out the necessary information. This is a fan ID and is a mandatory requirement to be allowed entry to Qatar
- Anyone, including fans, who will go to Qatar during the World Cup period will need to have a Hayya card regardless of whether they will watch the tournament
- Holders of the Hayya card can enter the country from November 1 to December 23, 2022, and can stay until January 23, 2023.
- Hayya card holders can enter Qatar multiple times during the World Cup tournament
- Hayya cardholders who purchased match tickets can invite up to three non-ticket holder fans to Qatar for a fee of QR 500, but children under the age of 12 are admitted free of charge.
Ticket holders who need to have the Hayya card printed can proceed to any of the two centres at Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiyah Arena and Doha Exhibition and Convention Center.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Interior announced that Qatari citizens or residents and those with recruitment visas or work entry permits are exempted from the entry and exit guidelines.
A Guide for Students
The Ministry of Education announced that the term will end on November 17. The term ends a few days before the World Cup tournament starts. Meanwhile, classes will return on December 25.
Guide on Travelling
Because gridlock is expected throughout the FIFA tournament, organizers issued the “5 Rs,” a guide on how residents and visitors can get around the city while participating in events and getting to work.
The website Qatar2022.qa explains how the 5Rs can help you as a resident or a guest:
- Consider using public transportation, cycling, or carpooling rather than a private vehicle
- Consider walking for short-distance trips
- Avoid scheduling your trip during the rush hour or when there is an ongoing match
- Business owners are encouraged to follow flexible work hours so their employees do not have to travel all at the same time
- Study alternate routes. especially if your usual route is closed or will experience heavy traffic
- Before you travel, find out if there will be any road closures or planned detours
- Avail of the Park & Ride options when going to central Doha
- Stay at home as much as possible by using delivery services
- When shopping, consider walking to nearby stores instead of going to bigger establishments
- Stock up on pantry essentials so you don’t have to keep going out to buy
- Save time on travelling and choose to work from home instead
- When scheduling trips or meetings, try not to make them during matchdays
- Use the phone or virtual meetings instead of face-to-face
The organizers also encouraged everyone to use public transportation as much as possible during the tournament. Doing so will help in reducing the amount of traffic around the city.