COVID-19 Guidelines: When and Where is it Allowed to Remove Masks in Qatar?

COVID-19 Guidelines: When and Where is it Allowed to Remove Masks in Qatar? By Darlene Regis - June 27, 2021

COVID-19 Guidelines

Fully-vaccinated people can gather without masks, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But, is this also the case for Qatar? The answer is no.

The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) calls on all people, including those recovering from the disease and those who received the vaccine, to continue adhering to precautionary measures, including wearing of masks.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) have intensified efforts to take action against violators of Coronavirus (COVID-19) preventive and precautionary measures in force.

The authorities are advocating its #IWearAMask campaign, stating that wearing a mask properly helps prevent the virus spread and protects the community from the risk of infection.

Wearing a mask properly helps prevent the spread of #Coronavirus and protects you and those around you from the risk of infection.#MoIQatar #IWearAMask #COVID19 #Qatar #Doha pic.twitter.com/UGJeoTdtkC

— Ministry of Interior (@MOI_QatarEn) June 2, 2021
The World Health Organization (WHO) also reiterated the importance of wearing masks in this period. 

“Vaccines are life-saving but on their own, they are not enough,” WHO said. Even after receiving Covid-19 jabs, people should wear face masks in areas where the virus is spreading, it stated after the US decided the vaccinated do not need masks.

MASK EXEMPTIONS

With regards to the question, “When and where is it allowed to remove masks in Qatar?,” there are some conditions that MoPH has provided in different areas or establishments. 

The wearing of facemasks in public remains mandatory nationwide. All citizens and residents have to wear masks upon leaving the house for any reason.

However, local officials have announced that there are special conditions for not wearing a face mask. Wearing masks is NOT necessary when:

• In a vehicle - Wearing a mask is not needed when you are driving alone or travelling with your family in a car.

“The Cabinet decided that all citizens and residents must continue to wear masks when leaving the house for any reason, unless the person is present by himself while driving the vehicle or with his family,” Qatar News Agency stated on Twitter.

The Cabinet decided that all citizens and residents must continue to wear masks when leaving the house for any reason, unless the person is present by himself while driving the vehicle or with his family. #QNA

— Qatar News Agency (@QNAEnglish) May 26, 2021


• In outdoor exercises - Wearing masks is not necessary for outdoor exercises; however, 3 meters minimum safe distancing should be followed. You will need to wear a mask if you come within 3 meters from others when exercising. 

• In gyms - A person can remove the mask when alone in the room, or when with a trainer who has a mask on. However, it is advised that the person keeps the mask on to reduce the risk of virus transmission.

• In schools:

- Only if parents wish to have their children in earlier elementary years wear masks inside the class.

• In swimming pools and water Parks - If you are in the water, it is not required to wear a mask.

MASK IS A MUST

Under the new measures, which come into force on May 28 this year, wearing a face mask in public places is still compulsory. Therefore, wearing of masks is still being implemented in many areas and establishments.

Keep on scrolling to know if you are violating the COVID-19 protocol of wearing masks in certain places in the country.

GATHERINGS

Mosques

• ?Masks to be worn by all including community members attending the prayers and mosques’ employees.

• Worshipers will not be allowed to enter the mosque without wearing a mask and bringing their prayer mat.

Social Gatherings

• Masks  to be worn by all, including any staff present.

Religious Complex

• Masks to be worn by staff/stewarts/ushers and worshippers at all times.

TRANSPORT

Maritime Transport

• Masks to be worn by employees and clients at the rental point and during the cruise.

Flights and Travel

• Before travel, ensure you have enough medical face masks for your journey.?

• At the departure airport, wear a mask to protect yourself and the other passengers. Boarding will not be allowed without a face mask.

• During the flight and at the arrival airport, practice hand hygiene, including frequent hand sanitization, follow cough etiquette and wear a mask.

Driving Schools

• Masks and gloves to be worn by staff and students at all times.

• Replacement masks to be carried by the instructor and disposable bags to properly dispose of masks when needed.

Public Transport - Buses and Metro

• Masks must be worn by all staff, drivers and passengers to allow entry.

• Masks to be worn by staff and passengers at all times

EDUCATION AND HEALTH

Private Healthcare Faci?lities??????

• Masks to be worn by employees and patients at all times.

• PPE (masks/face shields/gloves) to be worn by healthcare workers for home visits with strict hand hygiene and disinfection of bags/equipment/ hard surfaces between patients.

• All healthcare facilities must maintain sufficient PPE supplies, including masks, gloves, etc. to cover the needs of both patients and staff.?

Education

• Staff meetings should not exceed 15 people, with wearing masks and maintaining 1.5 m physical distance.

• Masks should be worn by all teachers and admin staff all the time.

•All students from 7th grade must wear face masks at all times. 

• 5th and 6th grade students are strongly advised to wear masks.

• Students in grades 1 to 4 should wear masks  while in school corridors.

• If parents wish to have their children in earlier elementary years to wear masks inside the class, it is acceptable.

• Masks offer important protections. Cloth masks are acceptable and children may find them more comfortable

• Ensure efficient ventilation in classrooms, halls and offices.  (refer to MoPH website for HVAC guidance)

• School staff working with students who are unable to wear a cloth face covering and who must be in close proximity to them should ideally wear N95 masks. When access to N95 masks is limited, a surgical mask in combination with a face shield should be used.

• When in bus transport, masks to be worn at all times.

Special Needs Centers

• Subcontracted maintenance and cleaning staff are not permitted in the center during working hours and must comply with all precautions (masks, temperature, Ehteraz) before being allowed entry.

• ?Staff meetings should not exceed 5 people, each at 1.5m distance from each other, and wearing masks.

• ?Masks to be worn by all adults at all times (staff and carers).

• Staff to wear full PPE (masks and gloves) for close contact appointments with clients, changing masks and gloves between each appointment.

• Provision of extra masks to replace used, wet or dropped masks

• Educate clients about COVID-19 prevention, this includes appropriate and frequent hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, mask use, symptoms of COVID-19 and what to do if you feel sick. ?

Training Centers

• Masks for all (staff, clients and trainees over 12 years old).

• Educate everyone in the Training Center about COVID-19 prevention, this includes appropriate and frequent hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, mask use, symptoms of COVID-19 and what to do if you feel sick.

BUSINESS AND LEISURE

Workplace

• Limit the presence of maintenance teams inside offices during working hours and ensure their green Ehteraz status, wearing masks and compliance with all precautions.

• Employees must wear masks at all times.?

• Attendees must wear masks at all times.

• It is important remind employees that wearing face masks does not preclude the need to keep physical distance of at least 1.5 meters from each other.

Shopping Malls

• Masks to be worn by all staff and customers all the time.

• Salespersons and other mall staff must remain conscious all the time about maintaining the minimum safe distance from customers as face masks may cause people to relax their guard about the safe distance).

Souqs

• Masks to be worn by all staff and customers.

• Salespersons and other Souq staff must remain conscious all the time about maintaining the minimum safe distance from customers as face masks may cause people to relax their guard about the safe distance).

• Porters must wear masks and gloves at all times and observe hand hygiene and physical distancing of 1.5m at all times.

Wholesale Markets

• Masks to be worn by all staff and customers.

Restaurants

• Masks to be worn by staff at all times, compelling staff preparing and delivering meals to wear masks and gloves and to properly use them. 

• Staff to use gloves when handling tools that have been used by other people, and dispose of them properly

Museums and Libraries

• Masks to be worn by staff and attendees at all times.

Barbershops and Hairdressers

• Clients should wear face masks (to the extent possible) while receiving services. Salon must keep spare masks for clients and staff if they become soiled.?

• The use of masks and face shields is mandatory.

• Salon/shop employees will be required to wear masks and face shields at all times. Masks should be replaced every 4 hours.

Health Clubs, Gyms and Spas

• Masks to be worn by staff and clients at all times.

• A person can remove the mask when alone in the room, or when with a trainer who has a mask on. However, it is advised that the person keeps the mask on to reduce the risk of virus transmission.

• Encourage customers to bring their own towels, personal hygiene kit, and water bottles and extra masks.

• When handling soiled linen, follow precaution and proper use of PPE (face masks, gloves).

• Masks to be worn by clients where possible (according to treatment).

• ?Masks or masks as well as face shields to be worn at all times by staff.

• Visual indication of service providers washing hands prior to and following treatments.

• Allowing training in groups in outdoor areas only, with maintaining a distance of 3 meters between trainees, while allowing removal of masks only when exercising.

• Educate staff on proper responses to guests who challenge physical distancing, wearing of masks and other precautions

Swimming Pools and Water Parks

• Masks to be worn by staff and clients at all times (unless in the water).

Theatres and Cinemas

• Masks to be worn by staff and the public at all. 

Cleaning and Hospitality Services

• Masks to be worn by staff at all times.

• Staff handling food should wear masks and gloves and should know how to properly use and dispose of them properly.  

• Food must be plated in individual portions.

• No buffet or self-service food to be offered.

• Staff wearing masks and gloves to serve all food.

• Transport staff to and from accommodations in batches.

• Ensure a minimum physical distance of 1.5 m between passengers at all times, with all passengers and drivers wearing protective masks and gloves.

• Disinfect all vehicles after each trip.

Theme Parks and Leisure Centers

• All employees and visitors (over the age of 12 years) must wear a mask.

• Notifying customers of the need to adhere to wearing a mask (it can be removed depending on the effort exerted during certain games) with the need to maintain a physical distance of 1.5 meters from others in all directions, as much as possible.

OUTDOOR AND PROFESSIONAL SPORTS

Activities in Parks, Corniche and Beaches

• ?Wearing masks is not necessary for outdoor exercises; however, 3 meters minimum safe distancing should be followed. You will need to wear a mask if you come within 3 meters from others when exercising. 

• ?Those not exercising should wear masks all the time and maintain 1.5m distance. 

• Maintain general hygiene and dispose of masks, gloves and waste in the containers designated for them.?

Organized Sports Training?????

• Masks to be worn by all staff and athletes while not training.

• Provide athletes and employees with information on the use of face coverings and medical masks.

• Medical mask to be worn by anyone who show symptoms (including fever, cough, or shortness of breath).

Professional Sports Events

• If participants are transported by bus, masks to be worn by all.

• During the event and training, all participants should wear face masks all the time while at the activity venue (except when training and competing).

• Teams meetings or organizers meetings must be conducted online. If not, they should be done preferably in outdoor settings with a safe distance of 1.5 meters and wearing masks for all during the entire meeting period.

• In preparing athlete support packs, medical/cloth masks must be included.

• Masks to be worn by all staff and participants, at all times.?

• No food concessions inside the event building including conference halls, exhibition halls and stadia is allowed (masks to be worn at all times). 

• Masks to be worn at all times whilst not training/playing. This applies to staff, players and spectators.

• Sort used linen with proper PPE precautions (face mask, gloves).

• Mask worn directly before and after each bout of competition.

MoI and health authorities have been continuously warning the public to follow precautionary measures like wearing masks, following social distancing, and restricting the number of people in vehicles to curb the virus spread.

To know more about the COVID-19 restrictions in Qatar, read this article: What COVID-19 Violations You Should NOT Be Doing in Qatar Now to Avoid Penalties

Are you fully vaccinated? Should you stop wearing masks? The choice is yours. But, remember, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Stay safe. Wear a mask.

What do you think about the decision of the Qatar government in keeping masks mandatory for all citizens and residents? Tell us in the comments.

By Darlene Regis - June 27, 2021

Leave a comment