MANILA – Qatar has amended its travel and return policy for travelers, the Philippines Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) said on Monday.

In an advisory, POEA administrator Bernard Olalia said the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Doha has recently reported that the MoPH of the host nation has eased the process of travel which was effective October 6.

Under the amended policy issued by Doha's Health Ministry, a pre-travel reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test is no longer mandatory for fully vaccinated Qatari citizens and residents traveling from Green List countries.

However, they will be required to undergo a PCR test within 36 hours of arrival.

Travelers are required to sign an undertaking and acknowledgment form before arrival to Qatar which is available on the MoPH website, online registration platform (Ehteraz website), and via airlines' ticketing process.

The countries are now classified into Green (expanded to 188 countries) and Red (15 countries), in addition to a secondary list of Exceptional Red Countries (ECR) which include the Philippines, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Indonesia, Kenya, and Sudan ) based on international and local health risk indicators and the epidemiology of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in different countries.

It added that visitors from the ECR countries will be subject to hotel quarantine for two days. Travelers from these countries are further categorized into two groups, who will face two different sets of quarantine conditions upon arrival in Qatar.

Fully-vaccinated citizens and residents of Qatar from ECR countries who are aged 12 and up, as well as children up to age 11 and accompanied by at least a fully vaccinated family member, have to undergo a two-day quarantine.

“Visitors are required to have a negative PCR test result taken 72 hours prior to arrival. Upon arrival, they will be PCR-tested at the quarantine hotel,” it said.

“For those vaccinated outside Qatar with one of the vaccines approved by the Ministry, a serology antibody test will be carried out at quarantine hotel. A positive Serology Antibody test pre-travel is mandatory for individuals with two doses of a conditionally approved vaccine, with the validity of the test being 30 days,” it added.

Meanwhile, partially vaccinated travelers from ECR countries should undergo a seven-day hotel quarantine and produce a negative PCR test result taken 72 hours before arrival.

Upon arrival, a PCR test is required on the sixth day of quarantine and will be released on the seventh day if the result is negative.

“As for visitors that are fully vaccinated, the two-day quarantine applies to travelers aged 12 and up as well as children aged up to 11 and accompanied by at least a family member who is fully vaccinated,” the POEA said.

“Visitors are required to present a negative PC test result taken 72 hours prior to arrival. Upon arrival, they will be PCR-tested at the quarantine hotel. For those vaccinated outside Qatar with one of the vaccines approved by the Ministry, a serology antibody test will be carried out at quarantine hotel,” it added.

On the other hand, unvaccinated travelers are not allowed in Qatar.

The POEA said Qatar's conditionally approved vaccine list has included Sinovac and Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccines in addition to the Sinopharm vaccine.

For pre-travel, a serology antibody test is mandatory for people with two doses of conditionally approved vaccines and 14 days after the second dose, in which case only the traveler will be considered fully immune.

People who received two doses of a conditionally approved vaccine followed by one dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine and after 14 days from the last dose, will be considered fully immune.

Visitors may activate the Ehteraz mobile application using an international SIM card.

Non-residents of Qatar must register via an online registration platform (www.ehteraz.gov.ga) at least three days before arrival. (PNA)