MANILA – Qatar has changed its travel and return policy for travelers, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) said on Monday.
In an advisory, POEA administrator Bernard Olalia said the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Doha recently reported that the host country’s health ministry facilitated the travel process. which came into effect on October 6.
Under the amended policy issued by the Doha Ministry of Health, a pre-travel reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test is no longer mandatory for fully vaccinated Qatari citizens and residents of Qatar. from countries on the green list.
However, they will need to undergo a PCR test within 36 hours of arrival.
Travelers are required to sign an Undertaking and Acknowledgment of Receipt form prior to arriving in Qatar, which is available on the MoPH website, the online registration platform (Ehteraz website) and through the airline ticketing process.
Countries are now categorized in green (expanded to 188 countries) and red (15 countries), in addition to a secondary list of Outstanding Red Countries (ECRs) which includes the Philippines, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Indonesia, Kenya and Sudan) based on international and local health risk indicators and the epidemiology of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in different countries.
He added that visitors from ECR countries will be subject to around 40 hotels for two days. Travelers from these countries are further classified into two groups, which will face two different sets of quarantine conditions upon arrival in Qatar.
Fully vaccinated Qatari citizens and residents of ECR ââcountries aged 12 and over, as well as children up to 11 years of age and accompanied by at least one fully vaccinated family member, must undergo a two-day quarantine.
âVisitors are required to have a negative PCR test result performed 72 hours prior to arrival. Upon arrival, they will be tested by PCR at the quarantine hotel, âhe said.
âFor people vaccinated outside Qatar with any of the vaccines approved by the ministry, a serological antibody test will be performed at the quarantine hotel. A positive serological antibody test before travel is mandatory for people who have received two doses of a conditionally approved vaccine, the test being valid for 30 days, âhe added.
Meanwhile, partially vaccinated travelers from ECR countries are expected to undergo a seven-day hotel quarantine and produce a negative PCR test result taken 72 hours before arrival.
Upon arrival, a PCR test is required on the sixth day of quarantine and will be released on the seventh day if the result is negative.
“For fully vaccinated visitors, the two-day quarantine applies to travelers aged 12 and over as well as children up to 11 and accompanied by at least one fully vaccinated family member.” , said the POEA.
âVisitors are required to present a negative PC test result performed 72 hours prior to arrival. Upon arrival, they will be tested by PCR at the quarantine hotel. For people vaccinated outside Qatar with one of the vaccines approved by the ministry, a serological antibody test will be carried out at the quarantine hotel, âhe added.
On the other hand, unvaccinated travelers are not allowed in Qatar.
The POEA said Qatar’s list of conditionally approved vaccines included the Sinovac and Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccines in addition to the Sinopharm vaccine.
For pre-travel, a serological antibody test is mandatory for people who have received two doses of conditionally approved vaccines and 14 days after the second dose, in which case only the traveler will be considered fully immune.
People who have received two doses of a conditionally approved vaccine followed by one dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine and 14 days after the last dose will be considered fully immune.
Visitors can activate the Ehteraz mobile application using an international SIM card.
Non-residents of Qatar must register through an online registration platform (www.ehteraz.gov.ga) at least three days prior to arrival.