Qatar removes COVID test requirement upon admission for fans going to the World Cup

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World Cup host Qatar has removed the requirement that visitors get a negative COVID-19 test before leaving for the Persian Gulf state, its health ministry said on Wednesday.

Qatar had previously told fans attending the World Cup that they must show a negative COVID-19 test, regardless of their vaccination status, before leaving by air or at the border crossing.

Qatar is expecting a record 1.2 million visitors during the tournament, which will be played from November 20 to December 18.

The Health Ministry also removed the requirement for adults to show their COVID-19 status on a government-run contact tracing smartphone app called Ehteraz before entering stadiums or other establishments such as shops and restaurants.

Visitors and residents must still show the application before entering a health care facility, according to the statement.

Qatar is easing the restrictions because “the number of COVID-19 cases (continues) to decline worldwide and in Qatar, and due to the continued rollout of the Qatar National COVID-19 Vaccination Program,” the statement said.

Last week, Qatar eased its rules on masks, now only requiring those who visit health care facilities to wear them.

Qatar, which has a population of nearly 3 million people, has recorded more than 440,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 692 deaths from the virus, according to data from the Ministry of Public Health.

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