Organisers say visitors will have to show negative PCR or antigen test to enter country, show tracking app at games.
Football fans heading to Qatar for the World Cup, due to start on November 20, must show a negative COVID-19 test to enter the country, organisers have confirmed.
All visitors over the age of 18 must also download Ehteraz, a contact-tracing, government-run phone application that tracks people’s movements and infection status.
“A green Ehteraz (showing the user does not have a confirmed case of COVID-19) is required to enter any public closed indoor spaces,” World Cup organisers said in a statement on Thursday.
Before travelling to Qatar, visitors entering the country will need to show a negative result from a PCR test taken in the 48 hours before arriving or from an official rapid test taken within 24 hours.
The testing policy, which applies to visitors aged six and older, is “regardless of the individual’s vaccination status”, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy said.
Vaccination is not mandatory for the 1.2 million people expected to visit Qatar for the sporting event, which ends on December 18. No quarantine is necessary.
Rapid antigen tests taken in the previous 24 hours before landing in Qatar will only be accepted if they are from official medical centres and not self-administered, organisers said. No further tests are required in Qatar if fans do not develop symptoms of COVID-19.
Masks must be worn on public transport, including the metro system that many fans are expected to use to get to the eight stadiums in and around the capital, Doha.
Qatar has recorded nearly 450,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 682 deaths from the disease, according to data gathered since 2020 by Johns Hopkins University in the United States.
More than 97 percent of the population in Qatar – estimated to be at least 2.5 million, with about 350,000 of them being Qatari citizens – has had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the data.
World Cup organisers said that anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 while in the country “will be required to isolate in accordance with Ministry of Public Health guidelines”.