Qatar confirms COVID-19 testing requirements for World Cup fans


GENEVA — Fans traveling to the World Cup in Qatar must present a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival as part of the host country’s rules to combat COVID-19, organizers said on Thursday.

All visitors aged 18 and over must also download a government-run phone app that tracks people’s movements and health, called Ehteraz.

“A green Ehteraz (showing the user has no confirmed case of COVID-19) is required to enter all enclosed public indoor spaces,” World Cup organizers said.

Visitors must be able to show a negative result from a PCR test taken within 48 hours of arrival or from an official rapid test taken within 24 hours. COVID-19 testing policy for visitors aged six and over is ‘regardless of the individual’s vaccination status’, Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy said in a statement.

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

Rapid antigen tests carried out within 24 hours before landing in Qatar will only be accepted if they come from official and non-self-administered medical centres. No further testing is required in Qatar if fans do not develop symptoms of COVID-19.

The decisions extend to all World Cup public health policies in place since September 4 for all travelers arriving in Qatar.

Masks must be worn on public transport, including the metro system that many fans will use to travel to all 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 350,000 of them are Qatari citizens.

More than 97% of Qatar’s population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, the data shows.

“Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 in Qatar will have to self-isolate in accordance with the guidelines of the Ministry of Public Health,” World Cup organizers said.

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