Travel and health rules you need to know before heading to World Cup in Qatar

The World Cup will kick off on November 20.

Qatari authorities have announced a new set of guidelines for visitors planning to flock to the country to attend the upcoming FIFA World Cup.

Here’s everything you need to know before your visit:

Pre and post trip planing

In health, visitors are no longer required to take a Rapid Antigen Test or PCR test prior to their arrival to Doha. This applies to all visitors no matter their vaccination status.

Once fans enter the country, a Rapid Antigen Test or PCR test is still required within 24 hours of their arrival. The test can be taken at any private health facility in the country.

Quarantine is no longer required for all tourists arriving from outside. However, visitors who test positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Qatar must undergo self-isolation measures in accordance with the regulations followed in the country.

Authorities have also scrapped the need for pre-registration on the Ehteraz health application prior to arrival, which was mandatory for all visitors prior to the new announcement. Such measures allow easier travel to Doha and provide convenience for millions of fans looking to visit the Gulf nation soon.

Authorities also said the Ehteraz application will be mandatory for all visitors to enter health facilities across the country, but will not be required to enter any private or public destination, including stadiums, concerts, festivals and malls.

In addition, emergency health services will be provided in Hamad Medical Center hospitals free of charge for those who have the Hayya card.

Although travel insurance is not required for visitors, officials are still encouraging fans to get insured before arriving to the country in case of any emergency.

None ticket holder? Book your visit now!

Meanwhile in travel regulations, fans can now enter without match tickets starting December 2, but registration on the Hayya platform is still required before entry.

Non-ticket holders who wish to experience the football spirit in the Gulf nation live now have the chance to register on the platform.

The country’s interior ministry also announced that visitors who entered the country before November 1, holding any type of visit visa, now have the option to convert it into a Fan Visa for a QR500 fee.

The visa’s validity can then last until January 23, 2023, and can be changed in any General Directorate of Passports and MOI Services Centres.

Behold, the grand-ceremony kick-off

Finally, the timing of the much-awaited opening ceremony of the first-ever FIFA World Cup in the Middle East has been announced.

The festivities are set to start at 5pm sharp, before the first match kick-off between the host country and Ecuador at the Al Bayt Stadium.

Day-to-day entertainment

Visitors, residents and all football fans will get to enjoy a vast array of cultural and entertainment during the World Cup, including more than 90 special events taking place on the sidelines of the tournament.

“In addition to the FIFA Fan Festival at Al Bidda Park, the Doha Corniche will be one of the largest fan destinations, with roving performances, cultural activities, food and beverage stalls and retail outlets along its 6km route, with capacity to host more than 70,000 fans every day,” said Khalid Al Mawlawi, Deputy Director General, Marketing, Communications & Event Experience, SC.

“Other activities will include the daily ‘Welcome to Qatar’ show, one of the biggest pyrotechnic shows in the world,” he noted.

Theme park rides and other attractions will be open to fans at Al Maha Island Lusail, along with the 974 Beach Club, the Hayya Fan Zone on Lusail South Promenade, North Qetaifan Island and the Arcadia Spectacular and ARAVIA by MDL Beast dance music festivals. The Last-Mile Cultural Activations will also feature more than 6,000 performances in 21 locations, the official noted.

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