COVID-19 Violations You Should NOT Be Doing
When and where are people in Qatar allowed to stop wearing masks? What are the penalties if you’re caught violating any of the COVID-19 measures in the country?
Those are just some of the pressing questions raised by most people in Qatar today as the government continues to intensify its efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus.
If you are currently staying in Qatar, there are COVID-19 precautionary measures you need to follow to do your part as a citizen or resident of the State and help fight COVID-19 for everyone’s safety.
The Ministry of Interior (MoI) officials take action against those who do NOT adhere to the existing protocols. Till now it has referred thousands of people to the Public Prosecution for violating these directives.
So, scroll down to know what you should NOT be doing in Qatar now to avoid getting penalties, based on the guidelines set by the local authorities.
Do NOT forget wearing a mask while in public areas.
The wearing of facemasks in public remains mandatory nationwide. All citizens and residents have to wear masks upon leaving the house for any reason.
When and where is it not required to wear a mask?
According to Qatar Cabinet and the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), wearing masks is not necessary 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.
Previously, only those who were alone in a vehicle could remove their mask.
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
• When you are doing 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.
Note: Under the new measures, which come into force on May 28 this year, wearing a face mask in public places is still compulsory.
What will be the penalties for someone caught without a mask?
In March last year, the Cabinet has announced that the penalties stipulated in Decree Law No. (17) of 1990 regarding the prevention of infectious diseases shall be applied to a violator by:
• Imprisonment for a period not exceeding three years
• A fine not exceeding QR (200,000) two hundred thousand
• Or one of the above penalties
It is unclear if the above decision still applies today. However, officials continue to refer any violators to the Public Prosecution for legal charges.
Did you know?
A mask may be used for 1-3 days depending on how much of the time is worn, and as long as it maintains its integrity and remains dry. To know more about how to put on, use, take off, and dispose of a mask, read this guide from MoPH.
Do NOT expose your nose or mouth while wearing a mask.
The Ministry of Interior (MoI), said on its Twitter account, that wearing a mask properly helps reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and protects you and those around you 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
MoI and health authorities have been continuously warning the public to follow precautionary measures including wearing of masks to prevent the Covid-19 virus from spreading.
Do NOT go outside without an Ehteraz app.
It has been mandatory to install and activate the Ehteraz app when leaving the house for all citizens and residents in Qatar since 22 May, 2020.
Individuals must download the Etheraz app, and the status must be green.
Not having the app installed could lead to the same penalties imposed for not wearing masks.
Keeping the Ehteraz app active enhances public safety and helps you access different services quickly. #MoIQatar #IWearAMask #Qatar pic.twitter.com/QV4b6MirWK
— Ministry of Interior (@MOI_QatarEn) May 18, 2021
Do NOT stay in physical contact with others unless you maintain required social distance.
• Maintain 1.5 m physical distancing (except in small family groups of the same household)
• Ensure a 3 m minimum distance from others when exercising outdoors.
• A minimum distance of 2m should be maintained between groups in parks, corniche and beaches.
• Avoid physical contact, e.g., hugging, handshakes, etc.?
Do NOT gather in parks and corniche unless you follow the minimum number of people allowed to stay in these areas.
• Gatherings in public areas, such as parks, corniche and beaches are limited to family members from the same household only, or to a maximum of 5 people.
• Capacity in private beaches should not exceed 30%.
• A maximum of 10 vaccinated people or 5 unvaccinated people or mixed (vaccinated and unvaccinated people) are allowed to stay outdoors.
• Playgrounds and gym equipment remain closed.
Do NOT gather in closed places unless you follow the minimum number of people allowed to stay indoors.
Social gatherings are limited to:
• A maximum of 5 vaccinated people indoors or family members from the same household only.
Avoid social gatherings and visits in closes places. A maximum of 5 people who have received #Covid19 vaccine doses are allowed in open spaces therein.
#MoIQatar #Qatar #IWearAMask #Doha #EidMubarak pic.twitter.com/gRNhqoaFe9
— Ministry of Interior (@MOI_QatarEn) May 14, 2021
Do NOT violate the number of passengers permitted in a vehicle.
We remind you to comply with COVID-19 preventive measures.
No more than four persons are allowed in a vehicle including driver except for members of the same family. #Qatar #IWearAMask #MoIQatar #Doha pic.twitter.com/ynIvV9ruFs
— Ministry of Interior (@MOI_QatarEn) May 17, 2021
• Only 4 people, including the driver, are allowed in a vehicle, with the exception of family members residing in the same house.
• Public transport capacity is restricted to 30% all week.
Do NOT use boats or maritime transports unless you meet the below guidelines:
• In case of use of personal boats, owners must ensure that only family members from the same household are onboard, or that a maximum of 5 people are present, provided that they have completed the doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.?
• Capacity on personal boats is restricted to 10 people (only 2 of which can be unvaccinated) and all staff must be vaccinated.?
Do NOT violate home quarantine requirements if required.
Authorities have arrested several people who violated the requirements of home quarantine, which they were committed to following and legally accountable for, in accordance with the procedures of the health authorities in Qatar.
The arrest of the violators came in implementation of the precautionary measures in force in the country, approved by health authorities represented in the MoPH, to combat COVID-19.
The names of the violators who were referred to the designated prosecution are usually announced in local publications. So, whether it’s a 2-day 2-week isolation, if you’re planning to escape, think twice before you’ll get a record of your violation that will be published for a long time.
Authorities called on citizens and residents under home quarantine to fully commit to the MoPH's condition, to ensure their safety and the safety of others. They added that anyone who violates the quarantine will be subject to article no. 253 of law no. 11 of 2004, provisions of law no. 17 of 1990 on communicable diseases, and law no. 17 of 2002 on protecting society.
Be alert to comply with preventive measures against the #COVID19 to help protect you and others and strengthen the efforts of the country to maintain a healthy society.
Your alertness helps you stay safe.#MoIQatar #IWearAMask #Qatar #Doha pic.twitter.com/X3HnJEfwbw
— Ministry of Interior (@MOI_QatarEn) May 26, 2021
What is the “Infectious Diseases Law” and how is it being implemented in Qatar today?
Law No. 17 of 1990 is considered to be the main implemented law in the State of Qatar regarding the combating of infectious diseases.
His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani issued Law No. (9) of 2020 to introduce new provisions to the existing provisions of the Law.
It was necessary to amend the Law to introduce new provisions to help with combating COVID-19 because it is an unprecedented pandemic since the enactment of the Law.
Your Safety is My Safety
"In line with the cabinet decision based on Law No. 17 of 1990 regarding infectious diseases, the competent authorities referred several people to the Prosecution for violating COVID19 preventive and precautionary measures in force," Ministry said in a statement.
"The competent authorities call on the public to adhere to the precautionary and preventive decisions in force to protect them and others from the spread of the Coronavirus in society," the statement added
MoI and health authorities have been continuously warning the public to be alert to comply with preventive measures against the COVID-19 to help protect you and others and strengthen the efforts of the country to maintain a healthy society.