When it comes to covid-19, Qatar doesn’t mess around. During the first wave of the virus back in March, the country closed its borders. This created a worrying scenario for anyone who happened to be visiting the country at that time. To address the situation, the country extended visitor visas to ensure that anyone who had no choice but to overstay didn’t get in trouble. Visas for business travelers were also made extendable via the country’s online portal.
Like many countries, Qatar is tackling its reopening using a phased approach. They’re dividing the focus between the domestic reopening and the external reopening. The domestic phase, which began in June, started with the resumption of limited services. Mosques, private clinics, and shopping malls operated at reduced capacity.
In July, restaurants, libraries, markets, museums, and outdoor spaces enjoyed a limited reopening. The government required offices to run at 50 percent capacity.
In August, the third phase of reopening began. This meant the full reopening of shopping centers, and the limited reopening of gyms, health clubs, pools, and beauty salons. It also allowed for incoming flights from low-risk countries. However, only priority travelers and those with residency permits could gain entry.
September marked the beginning of the fourth and final phase. Business expeditions and other large gatherings resumed. Theaters, museums, and libraries fully reopened.
Qatar seems to have done a good job controlling covid-19 within its borders. So far, the country has yet to see a major second wave of the virus. In the interest of continuing the process while keeping citizens safe, Qatar has reduced the number of countries on its low-risk list. Incoming travelers from the remaining low-risk countries must agree to quarantine upon arrival.