Qatar bars entry to foreigners traveling from Egypt from March 1. Further travel restrictions possible.

Severity: Informational Alert

This alert began 02 Mar 2020 12:30 GMT and is scheduled to expire 13 Mar 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Travel restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite as of March 1
  • Impact: Entry restrictions; health screenings; likely increased immigration wait times

Qatari authorities announced March 1 that, in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), foreigners traveling from Egypt will be barred from entering Qatar until further notice. Qatari nationals returning from Egypt will be permitted entry but will be placed under a mandatory quarantine period of 14 days.

On Feb. 27, authorities announced that Qatari nationals and holders of a valid residency permit arriving from mainland China, Iran, and South Korea will be permitted entry to the country but will be placed under a mandatory quarantine period for 14 days. Nonnationals and nonresidents arriving in Qatar from China, Iran, and South Korea will not be permitted entry to Qatar.

Qatari nationals, holders of a valid residency permit and travelers transiting Doha from mainland China, Thailand, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau, Singapore, Iran, Italy, Malaysia, Japan, and South Korea and showing symptoms of COVID-19 will be sent for treatment at Doha's Communicable Disease Center. Qatari authorities may announce additional travel restrictions in the coming days.

Background and Analysis
The WHO has declared the ongoing outbreak of the virus to be a global health emergency. COVID-19 originated in China's Wuhan City in Hubei Province and has since spread to several countries across the globe.

As of March 2, there are three confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Qatar. All individuals infected with the disease had traveled to Iran. COVID-19 has affect Iran the worst in the region, with over 600 people infected and 54 people confirmed dead.

Individuals affected by the restrictions should postpone planned travel to Qatar. Follow all official immigration and health screening instructions. Allow additional time for immigration and health screenings. Consider delaying travel if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays.

Exercise basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

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