Can UK travellers still visit Qatar after red list update?

Nov 17, 2021

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The sharp increase in COVID cases across Europe has led to Qatar putting the UK and 20 other countries on its travel red list, which means travellers there will have to go through more stringent protocols. Brits are still allowed into Qatar, but even fully vaccinated visitors will have to present a COVID test and go through a mandatory quarantine period.

The new travel classification went into effect Monday 15 November. It comes as Europe is seeing a worrisome new surge in coronavirus cases. Across Europe, there were nearly 2 million new cases reported just last week, a 50 per cent week-to-week jump. The UK has recorded more than 269,800 new infections in the past seven days. The current infection rate is 364.6 per 100,000 people.

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Can I still visit Qatar if I’m flying from a country on the red list?

A red country classification for Qatar means fully vaccinated Brits must have a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to their arrival in the Gulf nation.

Once they arrive, visitors from red list countries must take another PCR test and self-isolate in a hotel for up to two days. An early release is possible but will depend on when a negative test result is delivered.

All hotel quarantine packages must be booked through the Discover Qatar website.

By comparison, fully-vaccinated travellers from green list countries must take a pre-departure COVID test but do not have to quarantine when they arrive in Qatar.

The protocols are more stringent for unvaccinated visitors from a red-listed country. Those guests must have a  negative pre-departure PCR test and have to quarantine for seven days upon arrival in Qatar. There are exceptions for certain guests. For instance, people visiting “first-degree” relatives can quarantine at their family’s home instead of a hotel. A second PCR test must be taken on day six of self-isolation. if the test comes back negative, they could be released on the seventh day.

Related: Which European countries have lockdown procedures affecting travel right now?

All visitors to Qatar, vaccinated or not, must have pre-registered via the ehteraz.gov.qa site and uploaded all necessary documents at least three days prior to arrival.

Travellers are also advised to download the ehteraz app for their trip to help expedite processing.

“You will also be asked to complete and sign an undertaking and acknowledgement form prior to arrival,” says advice on the Foreign Office (FCDO) website. This form is available on the Ministry of Public Health website, pre-registration platform website and airline online booking form.

Which countries are currently on Qatar’s red list?

  • Barbados
  • Brunei
  • Estonia
  • Ethiopia
  • Georgia
  • Iran
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Montenegro
  • Mongolia
  • Palestine
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Serbia
  • Singapore
  • Saint Kidds and Nevis
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Syria
  • Turkey
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom

Qatar actually has a higher risk classification than the red list for countries with high rates of COVID cases. It’s the “exceptional red list” and it currently has 10 nations on it, including Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Nepal, and The Philippines. Unvaccinated visitors from “exceptional red list” countries are not allowed to enter Qatar at the moment.

Featured image by Marvin Fernandez for Getty Images

 

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