* Cabinet further eases Covid-19 restrictions
* New decisions come into effect on Friday
* Weddings allowed in halls, mall capacity increased, food courts can open
* Unvaccinated employees must undergo rapid antigen tests on weekly basis
* Residents must continue to activate Ehteraz app on smartphones and wear masks
* Qatar’s travel and return policy to continue
The Cabinet has announced a further easing of Covid-19 restrictions in the country from Friday, Qatar News Agency (QNA) reports.Last updated: June 17 2021 01:38 AM
The highlights of this phase include allowing children under 12 to enter malls and markets, allowing weddings at halls and in hotels with a maximum capacity of 40 people, allowing more employees in both the public and private sectors at the workplace, increasing the capacity of malls and markets, allowing the opening of food courts in malls, and permitting boat and tourist yacht rentals, among other measures.
Also, all unvaccinated employees in the public and private sectors must undergo a rapid antigen test on a weekly basis, except for those who have recovered from Covid-19 or people whose health condition does not allow them to get inoculated.
These decisions will come into effect tomorrow and remain in place until further notice. This is the second phase of the planned four-phase lifting of restrictions in the country, which was announced earlier.
The decisions were taken at the Cabinet’s regular meeting chaired by HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz al-Thani at the Amiri Diwan on Wednesday.
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 the details of the proceedings.
At the outset of the meeting, the Cabinet was briefed by HE the Minister of Public Health on the latest developments regarding the efforts made to curb Covid-19. After examining the report of the Supreme Committee for Crisis Management, and to ensure the safety of all members of the society, the Cabinet decided the following:
1. Allowing, according to the need of work, a maximum of 80% of the total number of employees in the government sector in each business entity to work from the office, with the rest working remotely or upon request depending on the circumstances. Exceptions are the military, security and health sectors.
2. Allowing, according to the need of work, a maximum of 80% of the total number of employees in the private sector in each business entity to work from the office, with the rest working remotely or upon request depending on the circumstances. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI), in co-ordination with the authorities concerned, will determine the necessary activities excluded from this decision.
3. Continuing to allow meetings for employees and workers in the government and private sectors present at their workplace with the attendance of no more than 15 people, of whom five could be those who are yet to be vaccinated against Covid-19. Other meetings will be held remotely using modern technological means.
4. All employees in the public and private sectors must undergo a rapid antigen test accredited by the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) on a weekly basis. This applies to employees who have not received either or both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. Those who have taken both doses, recovered from the disease, or whose health condition does not allow them to take the vaccine based on a medical report accredited by the MoPH, are exempted from taking the rapid antigen test.
5. All citizens and residents must continue to wear masks when leaving the house for any reason, unless the person is present by him/herself while driving the vehicle or with his/her family.
6. All citizens and residents must continue to activate the Ehteraz app on their smartphones when leaving the house for any reason.
7. Mosques shall continue to remain open for daily and Friday prayers, but children under seven are not allowed. Toilets and ablution facilities must remain closed. The MoPH and Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs will determine the other precautionary measures.
8. Allowing a maximum of 10 people who have taken both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to be in closed places in homes, or a maximum of five people if one of them has not received both doses. A maximum of 20 people who have completed both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, or 10 people who have not completed or not received any doses of the vaccine, are allowed in the outdoor areas of homes.
9. Allowing weddings at independent wedding halls and halls in hotels with a maximum capacity of 40 people, provided at least 75% of the attendees have taken both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.
10. Allowing gatherings or sitting in public parks, on beaches and at the Corniche for a maximum of 10 people or family members residing in the same house. Individual sports such as walking, running and cycling in such places are allowed, while playgrounds and sports equipment there continue to be closed. Also allowed is the opening of private beaches not exceeding 40% of their capacity.
11. No car is allowed to have more than four passengers, including the driver, with the exception of family members residing in the same house.
12. Buses must continue to operate at half their capacity, while taking the precautionary measures.
13. Permitting the operation of Doha Metro and public transport services at a maximum capacity of 30% throughout the week, while closing smoking areas and banning eating and drinking inside these facilities.
14. Driving schools shall continue to operate at a maximum capacity of 30% . All workers in these schools must have completed their Covid-19 vaccination.
15. Cinemas and theatres can operate at a maximum capacity of 30%, provided at least 75% of the attendees have taken both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. Children under 12 are not allowed in.
16. Educational centres and private training centres will continue to provide their services at a maximum 30% of their capacity, provided all the instructors working there have taken both doses of the vaccine.
17. Nurseries to remain open and provide their services at a maximum 30% of their capacity, provided all workers take both doses of the vaccine.
18. Museums and public libraries to continue operating at a maximum 50% of their capacity.
19. Centres for people with special needs to continue functioning with a maximum of five persons per session, provided all workers have taken both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.
20. Continuation of professional sports training both indoors and outdoors, permitting preparatory training for local and international tournaments approved by the MoPH, and allowing the training of amateurs with a maximum of 20 people in open spaces who have completed their Covid-19 vaccination, and a maximum of 10 people indoors, provided they have also taken both doses of the vaccine. There will be no public attendance.
21. Approving the hosting of local and international sporting events after obtaining the approval of the MoPH, with the presence of fans not surpassing 30% of the open-space venue’s capacity, provided 75% of the public have completed their Covid-19 vaccination. Also allowed is the presence of public at no more than 20% of the capacity in closed places, provided they have taken both doses of the vaccine.
22. Conferences, exhibitions and events can be organised at a capacity not exceeding 30% after obtaining the MoPH’s approval.
23. Malls can operate at a maximum 50% of their capacity, with children under 12 allowed in. Also allowed is the opening of food courts, at a maximum 30% of the capacity, and prayer areas. Changing rooms remain closed.
24. Allowing restaurants and cafes to provide food and beverages on the following conditions:
* Open areas - not exceeding 50% of the capacity for restaurants and cafes that have the ‘Qatar Clean’ certificate, and not exceeding 30% of the capacity for restaurants and cafes that meet the conditions determined by the MoCI.
* Indoors - not exceeding 30% of the capacity for restaurants and cafes that have a ‘Qatar Clean’ certificate, and not exceeding 15% for restaurants and cafes that meet the conditions determined by the MoCI, provided all customers have taken both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.
25. Approving the renting of boats and tourist yachts, provided that all workers on such vessels have taken both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, and that the number of passengers do not exceed 50% of their capacity with a maximum of 15 people who have completed their Covid-19 vaccination. Also allowed is the presence of three persons (within the mentioned percentage) who have not taken both or either dose of the vaccine. The owners of personal boats and yachts, if used, are obligated to comply with the percentage, numbers and controls specified.
26. Popular markets will continue to work throughout the week at a capacity not exceeding 50%. Children under 12 are allowed in.
27. Wholesale markets will continue to work at a capacity not exceeding 50%. Children under 12 are allowed in.
28. Beauty salons and barbershops can operate at a maximum 30% of their capacity, provided that all workers in these facilities as well as clients have taken both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.
29. Allowing amusement parks and all entertainment centres to be opened according to the following conditions:
* A maximum capacity of 30% allowed for open-air amusement parks and entertainment centres.
* A maximum capacity of 20% allowed for indoor amusement parks and entertainment centres, provided that 75% of the customers have completed their Covid-19 vaccination.
30. Continuing to allow health clubs, gyms, massage services, sauna and steam rooms, jacuzzi services, and Moroccan and Turkish baths at a maximum 40% of their capacity, provided that all workers in these facilities and customers have taken both doses of the vaccine.
31. Continuing to allow the opening of swimming pools and water parks according to the following conditions:
* A maximum capacity of 40% allowed for outdoor pools and water parks.
* A maximum capacity of 20% allowed for indoor pools and water parks, and only customers who have completed their Covid-19 vaccination are allowed to enter.
32. Continuing to allow medical services to be provided in private healthcare facilities at a maximum 80% of their capacity.
33. Continuing to allow cleaning and hospitality companies to provide their services through employees who have taken both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, whether in one or more homes. Also allowing cleaning and hospitality services to be provided to the facilities contracting with them during working hours at a capacity not exceeding 50%, also through workers who are fully vaccinated.
The health requirements, procedures, precautionary measures and controls determined by the MoPH shall be taken into consideration.
The Ministry of Interior, MoPH, MoCI and other government agencies - each within their jurisdiction - will take the necessary measures in this regard to ensure compliance with the health requirements and precautionary measures, the QNA report states.
Blended learning in schools, travel and return policy to continue
The Cabinet yesterday decided to continue with the blended education system in all public and private schools and kindergartens, and the travel and return policy in Qatar, QNA reported.