Qatar loosens COVID-19 restrictions

Qatar's cabinet announced various revisions to Phase 3 of the gradual easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

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During a meeting at the Amiri Diwan on Wednesday, Qatar’s cabinet announced various revisions to Phase 3 of the gradual easing of COVID-19 restrictions, according to Doha News.

Authorities made the decision after reviewing a report by the Supreme Committee for Crisis Management on the country’s strategy to loosen restrictions.

Authorities added that they will resume to “monitor key performance indicators to ensure a balance between the continuity of providing protection to the population on the one hand and restoring social and economic life to normal, on the other,” according to a statement.

While the reason for the extension is unknown, it comes just a day after health officials recorded over 200 daily COVID-19 cases last week. Meanwhile, the news comes only days after Qatari health officials claimed that COVID’s “deadliest variant,” Delta, had been identified.

Despite concerns, daily COVID-19 cases in Qatar remain low, prompting the Cabinet to amend Phase 3 slightly.

The updates include allowing a maximum of 35 people (increased from 30 before) in outdoor areas of homes or majlis who have completed both doses of the vaccination, or 10 persons who have not completed or have yet to receive doses of the vaccine.

Also, 20 individuals or family members living in the same residence will be permitted to gather at parks, beaches, and corniche.

Outdoor restaurants and cafes with a “Qatar Clean” certificate can operate at 50% capacity, while others can only function at 30%.

Indoor restaurants with a “Qatar Clean” certificate can also operate at 50% capacity, while the others can only operate at 20% capacity, as long as all clients have been vaccinated. Closed locations can only be entered by accompanied children. Private beaches will remain open at 50% capacity, with public playgrounds and sports equipment finally becoming available. Children will be permitted to enter shopping malls, which will continue to operate at 50% capacity. The food courts will be at a maximum capacity of 30%.

All other restrictions, including work capacity, souq, and health regulations remain the same.

Authorities have declared that the new regulations will take effect on August 6th. On Thursday, the Qatari health ministry stated that the limits imposed as part of Phase 3 will be in effect for the full month of August

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