Qatar Cabinet approves Phase 3 of lifting COVID-19 restrictions from Friday

Qatar Cabinet approves Phase 3 of lifting COVID-19 restrictions from Friday By Qatar Day - July 07, 2021

Prime Minister and Minister of Interior H E Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani

Qatar Cabinet announced that the phase 3 of the gradual lifting of Covid-19 restrictions will go into effect from Friday, July 9, 2021.

Prime Minister and Minister of Interior H E Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani presided over the Cabinet’s regular meeting held at its seat at the Amiri Diwan today.

The cabinet decided to permit entry for kids into cinemas, increase the number of people allowed in weddings and also increased the percentage of people allowed in malls and restaurants.   

Precautionary Measures and Gatherings
- Continue with mask-wearing requirement when leaving home, unless alone or with family in a vehicle.

- Continue with requirement to activate the EHTERAZ app when leaving home.

- No more than 15 vaccinated people, or 5 unvaccinated or mixed groups, to gather indoors

- No more than 30 vaccinated people, or 10 unvaccinated or mixed groups, to gather outdoors

- Mosques continue to open for daily and Friday prayers for those over 7, while toilets and ablution facilities remain closed.

- Wedding capacity to increase to 80 people at hotels and wedding venues, of which at least 75% must be vaccinated.

Transport
- Public transport and Metro to increase to 50% capacity while buses to operate at 30% capacity

- Driving schools to increase to 50% capacity. Employees must be vaccinated.

- All boat staff must be vaccinated.

- Public transport smoking areas will remain closed, while food outlets will be subject to the same rules as restaurants and cafes.

- Private boats allowed to operate at 50% capacity, and boat rentals and tourist boats at 30% capacity. This includes up to 20 people, of which up to 3 can be unvaccinated.

Business and Leisure
Continued operation of workplaces at 80% capacity, with essential meetings for up to 15 people.

Continuing with rapid antigen test for Covid-19 on a weekly basis, for employees and workers who did not receive or complete doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. Those who did take both doses, recovered from the disease, or those whose health condition does not allow based on a medical report accredited by MoPH, are exempt from taking the rapid antigen test.

Wholesale markets and souqs to increase to 50% capacity, with no age restrictions.

Cinemas and theatres to continue at 30% capacity. At least 75% of customers must be vaccinated. Allowing the entry of children and counting them as part of 25%, who did not complete or did not receive doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Increase to 80% capacity for vaccinated hospitality and cleaning employees at workplaces during working hours.

Continued hosting of select exhibitions, conferences, and fairs at 30% capacity, following a risk assessment and approval from MOPH.

Shopping centres to continue at 50% capacity, including food courts operating at 30% capacity, with no age restrictions.

Allowing restaurants and cafes to serve food and beverages according to the following:

A- A capacity not exceeding 50% for restaurants and cafes that have obtained the "Clean Qatar" certificate, and capacity not exceeding 30% for restaurants and cafes that meet the conditions determined by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, in open spaces.

B - A capacity not exceeding 50% for restaurants and cafes that have a "Clean Qatar" certificate, and a capacity not exceeding 15% for restaurants and cafes that meet the conditions determined by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, provided that all customers have completed vaccine doses. Only children accompanied by their families allow in closed spaces.

More than one vaccinated employee can continue to provide hospitality and cleaning services within a home.

Barbershops and beauty salons to increase to 50% capacity. All employees and customers must be vaccinated. No more than one child should be present in those salons at the same time.

Amusement parks and entertainment centres to increase to 50% capacity outdoors and 30% capacity indoors. 75% of customers must be vaccinated. Children are allowed to enter and will counted among the 25%, who did not complete or did not receive doses of the vaccine.

Education, Health and Sport
Continue to allow medical services in private health care facilities with full capacity, provided all workers are vaccinated.

Up to 15 people or family members from one house can gather at parks, beaches, and the corniche, including permitted use of playgrounds and sports equipment. 

Professional sports training allowed indoors and outdoors, while amateur training to allow up to 30 vaccinated people outdoors and 15 vaccinated people indoors. No fans allowed.

Continue to allow organization of local and international sporting events after obtaining the approval of the Ministry of Public Health, and allowing the presence of no more than 50% of the capacity in open spaces, provided that 75% of the public who have completed vaccine doses, with those who did not complete or did not receive doses to conduct a Rapid Antigen test approved by the Ministry of Public Health within 24 hours before the event. 30% capacity in closed places, provided they are vaccinated.

Gyms, training clubs, and spas to increase to 50% capacity. Employees and customers must be vaccinated.

Blended learning to increase to 50% capacity.

Private educational and training centres to increase to 50% capacity. Trainers must be vaccinated and 75 % clients should be vaccinated.

Training allowed for MOPH-approved local and international tournaments. Fans allowed outdoors at 50% capacity and indoors at 30% capacity, of which at least 75% must be vaccinated.

Pools and water parks to increase to 50% capacity outdoors and 30% indoors. 75% of customers must be vaccinated. Children allowed to enter and will be counted among the 25% of who did not complete or did not receive vaccine.


Offices
The Cabinet has decided to continue the existing measures, which allows up to 80 percent of employees in public and private firms to offices and work while the remaining employees will continue to work remotely. 

Office meetings can have up to 15 employees participating, but at least 10 of them should be fully vaccinated. Meetings with bigger groups will still have to be held online.

Unvaccinated employees in the public and private sectors should continue to conduct a rapid antigen test for the coronavirus approved by the Ministry of Public Health on a weekly basis. Vaccinated and recovered employees and those with a health status that doesn’t allow taking the anti-coronavirus vaccine are exempted from this.

Gatherings
Up to 15 fully-vaccinated people or five unvaccinated/mixed groups can gather indoors.

Outdoor gathering is permitted for up to 30 vaccinated people or 10 unvaccinated/mixed groups.

Up to 15 people or family members residing in the same house are allowed to gather at parks, beaches, and the Corniche. Individual activities such as walking, running and cycling are allowed in parks, where playgrounds and exercise equipment will reopen for public. Private beaches can operate at 50 percent capacity.

No more than four people — including the driver — can travel together in a vehicle unless the occupants are of the same family.

Buses and vans cannot carry more passengers beyond half their seating capacities.

While people are required to wear masks when they go out — except for when they are driving with family or alone — the COVID-19 contact-tracing app Ehteraz is still a must for people stepping out of their homes.

Mosques will continue to allow worshippers for daily prayers as well as the Juma on Friday. However, children below seven years of age are not allowed in and toilets and ablution facilities will remain closed.

Weddings
Weddings can be held at independent facilities and wedding halls in hotels with a maximum capacity of 80 people. Unvaccinated people in the wedding party should not be more than 10.

Transport
Metro and public transport services will continue to operate at 50 percent capacity. However, passengers are not allowed to eat or drink on the train or bus. Smoking areas in stations will remain closed. 

Malls
Operating capacity of malls retained at 50 percent. Common food courts inside malls can operate at 30 percent capacity. Prayer areas and toilets inside malls can also continue to remain open, but changing rooms will stay shut.

Souks and wholesale markets can continue working throughout the week with a maximum capacity of 50 percent. Children are allowed in.

Conferences, exhibitions and similar events can draw in crowd up to 30 percent of the venue capacity, after obtaining the approval of the Ministry of Public Health.

Wholesale markets can continue working throughout the week with a maximum capacity of 50 percent. Children are allowed to enter. 

Restaurants
Restaurants and cafes with a “Clean Qatar” certificate can provide dine-in services at 50 percent capacity indoors and 50 percent capacity outdoors. 

Restaurants and cafes that meet the conditions determined by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry can provide dine-in services at 15 percent capacity indoors and 30 percent outdoors.

Educational institutions 
Private educational institutions, training centres and nurseries can continue in-person classes at 50 percent capacity, provided that all the workers and at least 75 percent of the adult clients are fully vaccinated. 

Public museums and libraries can also operate at 75 percent capacity.

Educational sessions in centres designated for people with special needs will continue, provided that each session has no more than five individuals; trainers must be fully vaccinated. 

Salons and gyms
Beauty salons and barbershops can operate at a maximum capacity of 50 percent, provided that all workers and clients are fully vaccinated. Only one child at a time is allowed to be present inside these establishments.

Amusement parks and all entertainment centres can continue operations at 50 percent capacity for open air features and at 30 percent capacity for indoor facilities. At least 75 percent of the customers need to be fully vaccinated. Children are allowed in and must be counted among the unvaccinated, whose number shouldn’t be above 25 percent of the centre’s capacity.

Health clubs, gyms, massage services, saunas, steam and jacuzzi services, and Moroccan and Turkish baths can expand operations from 40 to 50 percent capacity, provided that all workers in these facilities and customers have completed both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Swimming pools and water parks can expand operations from 40 to 50 percent capacity outdoors and from 20 to 30 percent indoors. Up to 75 percent of indoor pool users should be fully-vaccinated people. Children are allowed in but should be counted among the unvaccinated, whose number shouldn't be more than 25 percent of the pool capacity.

Private healthcare services can continue services at 100 percent capacity, provided that all workers are fully vaccinated.

Cleaning and hospitality companies can provide services if their staff are fully vaccinated.

Driving schools will continue to operate at 50 percent capacity, provided all workers are fully vaccinated.

Theatres 
Theatres can continue to operate at 30 percent capacity but the management should ensure that at least 75 percent of the customers are vaccinated. Children are allowed in and must be counted among the unvaccinated, whose number shouldn’t be above 25 percent of the capacity.

Sports
Professional sports training, whether in closed or open spaces, preparatory training for local and international tournaments approved by the Ministry of Public Health, can continue. 

Training of amateurs shouldn’t involve more than 30 people in open space and 15 in enclosed space. All trainees must be vaccinated and not spectators are allowed.

Local and international sporting events can be held after obtaining the approval of the Ministry of Public Health, with spectators allowed in up to 50 percent of capacity in open-air venues and 30 percent behind closed doors. 

Up to 75 percent of the spectators must be vaccinated. Unvaccinated people wishing to watch the matches should obtain a negative rapid antigen test result, from a facility approved by the Ministry of Public Health. The test must be done 24 hours before the start of the event.

Boats
Private boats, boat rentals, and tourist boats can have riders up to 50 percent of their capacities or up to 20 vaccinated people, whichever is smaller. Unvaccinated people among the boat riders shouldn't be more than three. Employees must be vaccinated.

By Qatar Day - July 07, 2021

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