Will I Need a Vaccine to Travel to Qatar? World Cup COVID Entry Requirements Explained
This is the first time the World Cup has ever been held in the Arab world. The Middle Eastern country is set to welcome 1.7 million people during the tournament, with approximately 500,000 visitors on the busiest days.
Eight stadiums in Qatar are being used for the upcoming World Cup. The stadium capacities range from 40,000 to 80,000 spectators, meaning there will be in excess of 200,000 spectators travelling to matches.
Are you getting ready to travel to Qatar for the World Cup and you are wondering which Covid rules you will be subject to? We have the answers for you below.
Will I need a Covid vaccine to travel to Qatar from the UK?
No. According to Gov.UK, entry requirements for Qatar are the same for all travellers, regardless of Covid-19 vaccination status.
However, you will need a negative Covid test result. From Sunday 4 September 2022, all visitors travelling to Qatar aged 6 and above, regardless of vaccination status, must bring a PCR test certificate with a negative result valid for 48 hours or a Rapid Antigen test certificate valid for 24 hours ahead of the scheduled departure time of the flight to Qatar.
You must submit your test result at the airport check-in counter.
A Rapid Antigen self-test will not be considered valid for travel.
Children under 6 years old are exempt from submitting a negative Covid test before they travel to Qatar.Click here to take our Travel Test Quiz on our website to see which Covid test you require.
What else do I need to do before I travel to Qatar from the UK?
- At least 3 days before arrival, you must register via Ehteraz, a contact tracing platform for Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health. Registration is mandatory, as it is designed to safeguard public health by identifying and isolating those who have come into close contact with a Covid-infected individual.
- Complete and sign an ‘undertaking and acknowledgement form’ prior to arrival. The form is accessible on Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health website, on the Ehteraz contact tracing platform, and on the airline online booking form.
- Download the Ehteraz app and activate this on arrival in Qatar, by using a local or international sim card. The app is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play store. It is compulsory to have the app downloaded on your smartphone when you are out and about in Qatar.
- You must sign up for email alerts to the UK Government’s Qatar Travel Advice page, so you can stay informed.
- Keep looking at the Qatar World Cup website and FIFA website to find out more information.
Apply for a Hayya Card. This is a form of Fan ID, which you will need to be able to enter Qatar during the tournament period. The Hayya Card will also give you access to free public transport on match days.
All travellers to Qatar - whether they intend to attend a match or not - will need to apply for a Hayya Card if they are visiting Qatar between 1st November 2022 and 23rd January 2023.
More information is available on the Hayya app, which can be downloaded on the Apple App Store, Google Play Store and the Huawei App Gallery. The app will be available in Arabic, English and additional languages including French, German and Spanish.
- Ensure you have travel insurance that will cover you for your trip. Make sure you understand what your insurance policy covers, such as medical treatment, Covid-related travel disruption and any planned activities such as adventure sports.
Ensure you declare any existing health conditions when you obtain travel insurance. Failure to declare any information may invalidate your travel insurance.
If you do not have the correct insurance before you travel to Qatar, you could be liable for emergency expenses, including medical treatment, which may cost thousands of pounds. In the UK, the average medical claim for holiday-goers is £914. Overseas, it is very common to see high medical fees, such as £15,000 for treatment of a fall resulting in a broken hip and return flights.
- Get as much information as possible about your travel, accommodation and package holiday, so that you know what you are entitled to in the event of any problems.
- Remember to follow the Covid requirements of all transportation operators throughout your trip, such as airlines, buses and cruise lines.
To find out more information and advice for your trip to Qatar, visit the following websites:
- In Qatar, if you find yourself in an emergency, dial 999, which connects you to the local police, fire and ambulance services.
- Check the latest Covid-19 guidelines in Qatar here. If you violate Covid guidelines in Qatar, you could be handed a fine of up to QAR200,000 and/or a prison sentence not exceeding 3 years.
- Visit the UK Government’s website which provides advice and support for British nationals abroad.
- If you plan to visit other countries during the World Cup tournament, or if you are staying on in Qatar afterwards, visit the UK Government’s Travel Advice webpage for every country you plan to visit, as there could be different procedures in operation.
To order rapid lateral flow tests, check your eligibility on the UK Government website here.
What if I travel to Qatar and then I test positive for Covid?
- You must self-isolate in accordance with the policy of Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health, until you test negative.
- You will be breaking the law in Qatar if you are a Covid-positive individual and you leave your quarantined room and interact with the public. Do not attend the FIFA World Cup if you are Covid-positive or if you are showing symptoms of Covid-19.
- It is best to plan ahead in case you have to isolate or seek treatment if you come into contact with Covid-19. Make sure you can access money and make arrangements to extend your stay if need be.
- It is a sensible idea to take out travel insurance before you travel to Qatar, so you know what to do in case you fall ill, test positive for Covid or have a Covid-related travel disruption. If you do not have the correct insurance before you travel to Qatar, you will have to pay for medical treatment, which may cost thousands of pounds.
Will I have to wear a face mask in Qatar?
Citizens, residents and visitors of Qatar are no longer required to wear face masks in all closed public spaces, except in healthcare facilities and on public transportation.
However, workers whose jobs require being in closed spaces and communicating with customers must wear face masks during their work hours.
Additionally, Qatar Airways requires all passengers to wear a face mask throughout their flight. Social distancing is also in place, as passengers are advised to maintain a 1.5 metre distance from other passengers, especially during the check-in and boarding process.
What should I do after I return to the UK from my trip to Qatar?
When you travel to England, you do not need to take a Covid test or quarantine after you have arrived. This applies whether you are vaccinated or not.
But for your peace of mind, you may wish to take a Covid test within two to five days of arrival. Travelling to a foreign country could very well have exposed you or your companions to Covid-19, and you would never know if you weren’t frequently testing yourselves.
Covid testing helps us detect and stop new variants from spreading. Taking a Covid test is especially recommended for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable, as they are at higher risk of serious illness from Covid-19, despite vaccination.
The FIFA World Cup kicks off on Sunday 20 November, with the opening game between the host country and Ecuador.
England’s first match will be against Iran on 21 November, and they will face USA four days later.
At Official Rapid Tests, we provide a Covid-19 Outbound PCR Test for travel. The PCR test is accepted by all travel destinations and provides the result within 24 hours.
We also sell a Covid-19 Rapid Antigen Test and Certificate for Travel, which is accepted by countries such as Spain, Italy, France, Germany and Greece, as well as a Day 2 PCR Test for UK Arrivals.
We have over 120 clinics nationwide where you can get a Covid test. Find your nearest test centre by clicking here.
Find out more about Official Rapid Tests by visiting our website here. We are open 24/7, seven days a week.
Read more articles on travelling and Covid tests on our blog here.