The majority of Qatar’s coronavirus restrictions will be lifted just before the 2022 FIFA World Cup begins on November 1. The Qatari Health Ministry announced Wednesday that those who fly into the country would no longer be required to submit PCR or rapid-antigen test results.
As well, the country stopped requiring users to register for its Ehteraz contract-tracking app. In Qatar, though, the app is mandatory for entering healthcare facilities. During the World Cup, Qatar expects 1.2 million visitors, including 1.2 million during the match against Ecuador on Nov. 20.
Starting Nov. 1, players, officials, staff, media, ticket holders, and their guests will not be able to enter Qatar without a “Hayya card.” Before Nov. 1, all visitors aged 6 and over must still submit negative COVID-19 tests before taking flights to Qatar.
Public transportation mask requirements were scrapped this month, and masks aren’t required in World Cup stadiums either. In Qatar, which has just 2.9 million residents, the arrival of fans, players, officials, staff and media is by far the biggest influx of visitors ever.
FIFA and Qatari organizers hope the event will signify that the world has recovered from the devastating pandemic.