Qatar confirms COVID-19 World Cup rules

Football fans going to the World Cup in Qatar must show a negative COVID-19 test on arrival as part of the host country’s rules to fight the virus.

All visitors 18 and older are also required to download a government-operated phone app that tracks people’s movements and health status, called Ehteraz.

“A green Ehteraz (showing the user does not have a confirmed case of COVID-19) is required to enter public enclosed indoor spaces,” the World Cup organizers said on Thursday.

Visitors must be able to show a negative result from a PCR test taken in the 48 hours prior to arrival or from an official rapid test taken within 24 hours.

The COVID-19 testing policy for visitors six years and older is “regardless of the individual’s vaccination status,” tournament organizers the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy said in a statement.

Vaccination is not mandatory for the 1.2 million expected visitors for the tournament from November 20 to December 18.

Rapid antigen tests performed within the last 24 hours prior to landing in Qatar will only be accepted if they come from official medical centers and have not been performed by yourself.

No further testing is needed in Qatar if fans do not develop symptoms of COVID-19.

The decisions span the entire World Cup public health policy, which has been in effect for all travelers arriving in Qatar since September 4.

Masks must be worn on public transport, including the metro system that many fans will use to reach the eight stadiums in and around Doha.

Qatar has recorded nearly 450,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 682 deaths from the disease, according to data collected since 2020 by Johns Hopkins University in the United States.

Qatar has an estimated population of at least 2.5 million, although only about 350,000 of them are Qatari citizens.

“Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 while in Qatar must isolate themselves in accordance with Health Ministry guidelines,” the World Cup organizers said.

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