Ministry of Public Health has issued an update to the quarantine protocol and testing of persons for Coronavirus (COVID-19), which includes the rules for exempting COVID-19 recovered people from quarantine and the need for all travelers coming to the State of Qatar to undergo a COVID-19 test in a medical center approved by the local Ministry of Health in the country they come from within 72 hours before their arrival in the State of Qatar. The new protocol will take effect from Sunday, April 25, 2021.
In this context, the Ministry clarified that a recovered person from COVID-19 if he had contact with a person infected or suspected of having the disease, and did not show symptoms of infection, will be exempted from quarantine provided that he has recovered from the disease according to a laboratory-confirmed result, and fulfilled the criteria after the end of health isolation. This should be within six months of the first positive result of the COVID-19 examination. He should also undergo a COVID-19 test to rule out an infection without symptoms. Recovered persons can obtain an extract to confirm prior infection from their health center.
But if a recovered person from COVID-19 who met the requirements for exemption from quarantine develops symptoms similar to those of COVID-19 within fourteen days of coming into contact with an infected person, he must isolate himself from others, and be clinically evaluated regarding the possibility of infection with COVID-19, including a COVID-19 PCR test. In the event that the result is negative and no other cause for these symptoms has been identified, he may be asked to retake COVID-19 test.
The ministry added that the recovered person from COVID-19 will be exempted from quarantine upon his return from travel if the result of the COVID-19 examination is negative upon entering the country, provided that he has recovered from the disease according to a laboratory-confirmed result during six months after confirming his illness.
Dr. Mariam Abdul Malik, Director General of the Primary Health Care Corporation and the head of the Health Tactical Command Group for Community Services within the governance structure for Coronavirus (COVID-19) said these rules and guidelines are based on the latest available medical information and evidence, adding that the quarantine comes within the legal framework of the International Health Regulations (2005), and the Ministry of Public Health will continue to update these recommendations as soon as new information becomes available regarding (COVID-19).
She called on all people, including those recovering from the disease and those who received the vaccine, to continue adhering to precautionary measures, such as wearing masks and maintaining physical distancing, avoiding crowded places and poorly ventilated places, maintaining clean hands, and following national travel guidelines and any instructions issued at the workplace or school.
She stressed that all travelers coming to Qatar must undergo a COVID-19 examination in a medical center accredited by the local Ministry of Health in the country of departure within 72 hours before their arrival in the State of Qatar, and that the result of the examination must be negative, adding that some categories may undergo a COVID-19 test upon arrival at the airport, as determined by the Ministry of Public Health.
The Ministry had recently announced that for a person, who received complete dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and did not show symptoms similar to COVID-19 after contact with a person infected or suspected of having the disease, will be exempted from quarantine, and also exempted from quarantine upon his return from travel if the result of the Covid-19 test is negative upon entry to the country.