Qatar recently announced it is updating its list of low-risk COVID-19 countries and that residents who are outside the country because of the COVID-19 pandemic are exempt from certain fees.

Key points:

  • As of Aug. 15, the low-risk COVID-19 countries are: Algeria, Australia, Austria, Brunei, Canada, China, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malta, Morocco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, the United Kingdom and Vietnam.
  • Travelers entering Qatar from these low-risk countries must take a COVID-19 test when they arrive at the airport. They must also sign a formal pledge to enter a one-week home quarantine. At this point, the traveler’s status on the Ehteraz app will be yellow, which means he or she is required to enter quarantine. Travelers will also need to have an approved entry permit before entering the country.
  • On the sixth day of home quarantine, travelers are required to visit a dedicated health center and obtain another COVID-19 test. If the test result is positive, the traveler will be entered into isolation. If the result is negative, the traveler’s quarantine period will be ended and his or her Ehteraz app status will be green.
  • All residents who have obtained an entry permit are allowed to enter the country. Travelers from high-risk countries will need to enter quarantine for a week at a dedicated quarantine hotel.
  • Residents who are outside Qatar due to COVID-19 restrictions do not have to pay fees because their residence permits have expired or as a result of having remained outside the country for more than six months.

Background: Qatar launched an exceptional entry permit service for Qatari residents abroad on Aug. 1.

Analysis & Comments: Allowing travelers to enter from many low-risk countries, with some entry requirements still in place, is good news for employers who wish to send their employees to Qatar. The fee exemption for residents outside the country will provide some financial relief to them. The response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop, and Deloitte will provide additional updates as information becomes available. Please check Deloitte’s COVID-19 Digital Map, available here, for information on travel restrictions and immigration changes in other countries.

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