The Cabinet has imposed a number of new restrictions, which will come into effect tomorrow and continue until further notice, to curb the spread of Covid-19 in Qatar.
These include reducing workplace attendance to 50% of the capacity, slashing Metro and public transport capacity on weekdays and stopping them on weekends, closing public
* Measures come into effect Friday
* Workplace attendance reduced to 50%
* Beauty and hair salons to be closed
* No dine-in at restaurants and cafes
* Children under 16 not allowed in malls
* Metro and bus capacity reduced to 20%; no services on Fridays and Saturdays
* Mosques will stay open for daily and Friday prayers; Tarawih to be performed at home
* Social gatherings, sitting in public parks, beaches and the Corniche not allowed
* Travel and return policy to continue
museums and libraries, nurseries, beauty and hair salons, cinemas and theatres, not allowing dine-in at restaurants and cafes, and not allowing children under 16 years to enter malls or traditional and wholesale markets, among others.
This came at the Cabinet's regular meeting Wednesday, chaired by the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz al-Thani via videoconference, Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported.
Following the meeting, HE the Minister of Justice and Acting Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Dr Issa bin Saad al-Jafali al-Nuaimi issued a statement giving details of the proceedings.
At the outset of the meeting, the Cabinet listened to the explanation provided by HE the Minister of Public Health on the latest developments regarding Covid-19 and the steps taken to curb it. Accordingly, it affirmed the continued implementation of precautionary measures in order to combat this pandemic, and decided the following:
* Reducing the number of employees present at the workplace in government agencies to 50% of the total number of employees in each entity, with the rest of the employees doing their work remotely from their homes or upon request, according to the circumstances, with the exception of the military, security and health sectors.
* Reducing the number of employees present at the workplace in the private sector to 50% of the total number of employees in each agency, and the rest of the employees can conduct their work remotely from their homes. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI), in co-ordination with the authorities concerned, will determine the necessary activities that are excluded from this decision.
* All meetings that are held for employees and workers in both the government and private sectors remotely shall be held using modern technology. In case this is not possible, and in cases of necessity, the meeting shall be held with not more than five persons, taking into account the precautionary measures.
* Continuing with the decision obliging all citizens and residents to wear masks when leaving the house for any reason, unless a person is alone while driving a vehicle.
* Continuing with the decision obliging all citizens and residents to activate the Ehteraz application on smartphones when leaving the house for any reason.
* Continuing to open mosques to perform the daily duties and Friday prayers, provided the Tarawih prayers are performed during the month of Ramadan at home, and children under 12 years are not allowed to enter. Adherence to the precautionary measures set by the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) and the Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs is necessary. Toilets and ablution facilities will remain closed.
* Preventing social gatherings and visits in closed places, such as the home and majlis, while permitting the presence of a maximum of five persons in open spaces, including those who have taken both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.
* Winter camps must allow only family members who live in the same house.
* Weddings are not be held in closed or open spaces until further notice.
* Preventing gatherings or sitting at public parks, beaches and the Corniche, and permitting individual sports such as walking, running and cycling, while continuing to close playgrounds and sports equipment in those places.
* Continuing to oblige all citizens and residents to ensure that there are no more than four people in a vehicle, including the driver, when moving around for any reason. The only exception is when a vehicle is carrying family members residing in the same house.
* Continuing with the decision reducing the number of people transported by buses to half of their capacity, while taking precautionary measures.
* Reducing the capacity of Doha Metro to no more than 20% and stopping these services on Fridays and Saturdays. Also, reducing the capacity of public transport to no more than 20% and stopping such services on some lines. Also, all public transport operations will be stopped on Fridays and Saturdays. These steps will be taken while also closing places designated for smoking and not allowing food and drink to be consumed in these modes of transport.
* Driving schools continue to be closed.
* Closing theatres and cinemas.
* Allowing private educational and training centres to provide their services through remote communication programmes only.
* Closing nurseries.
* Closing public museums and libraries.
* Continuing to allow individual educational sessions to be held in centres designated for persons with special needs, while adhering to special requirements set by the MoPH.
* Continuing to disallow the training of sports teams, whether in closed or open spaces, with the exception of preparatory training for local and international tournaments approved by the MoPH.
* Obtaining prior approval from the MoPH to organise local and international sporting events.
* Continuing to postpone all exhibitions, conferences and various events.
* Continuing to reduce the capacity of commercial complexes to 30%, not allowing children under 16 years old to enter, and closing all prayer areas in these complexes, while continuing to close all food courts inside the commercial complexes and allowing these restaurants to cater to home deliveries and pickup orders.
* Not to allow restaurants and cafes to serve food and drinks indoors or in open spaces and allow them to serve food and drinks via pickup orders or delivery.
* Continuing with the suspension of rental services for boats, tourist yachts and leisure boats. Exceptions are rental services for family members residing in the same house, or the presence of a maximum of five persons who are not family members, provided they have taken both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.
* Continuing to reduce the capacity of traditional markets to 30%, not allowing children under 16 years to enter, and closing these markets on Fridays and Saturdays every week.
* Continuing to operate wholesale markets at a maximum 30% of their capacity, and children under 16 years are not allowed to enter.
* Closure of beauty and hair salons.
* Continuing with the closure of amusement parks and all entertainment centres.
* Continuing to close health clubs and physical training clubs, stopping massage services, saunas, steam rooms, jacuzzi services, and Moroccan and Turkish baths.
* Continuing with the closure of all swimming pools and water parks.
* Continuing to stop providing medical services in private healthcare facilities, except for emergency cases, and allow any of these private health facilities to provide some of their medical services if possible through modern means of communication.
* Not to allow the services provided by cleaning and hospitality companies during the working hours of establishments contracted with them, and allowing the provision of their services at full capacity outside the working hours of those facilities. Also, allowing the provision of their services at homes by one person only while adhering to the special requirements set by the MoPH in co-ordination with the MoCI.
The conditions and precautionary measures set by the Ministry of Public Health must be taken into consideration.
The Ministry of Interior, MoPH, MoCI and other governmental bodies are in charge of taking the necessary measures to ensure adherence to the precautionary measures, all within their powers and jurisdiction, the QNA report states.
The decisions will go into effect tomorrow, and remain in place until further notice.
The Cabinet also noted the measures that have been taken regarding the adoption of the distance education system and the suspension of student attendance in all public and private universities, schools and kindergartens, as well as the continuation of the current travel and return policy to Qatar.
"The Council calls on all members of society, citizens and residents, to assume responsibility by adhering to the precautionary measures and procedures and to avoid crowded places to maintain their safety, and to limit the spread of this pandemic so that none of them will be subject to the penalties stipulated in Decree-Law No 17 of 1990 regarding the prevention of infectious diseases, as amended by Law No 9 of 2020, by imprisonment for a period not exceeding three years and a fine not exceeding QR200,000, or one of these two penalties," the report adds.