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Last Saturday it was announced that there is no longer a requirement for hotel quarantine for children aged below 18. Unvaccinated children aged below 18 whether returning from travel alone, or with their parents must remain in home quarantine for seven days upon arrival, provided that both parents are vaccinated.

And an exceptional entry permit is no longer required for those outside of Qatar for less than six months. As part of the gradual lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, exceptional entry permits will not be required for residents and visitors with work visas from last Monday. If residents meet the conditions for entering the country, that is, that they have valid residence permits and their stay outside of Qatar is less than six months, they can enter without an exceptional permit.

On to on Tuesday when it was announced that all travellers to Qatar must pre-register via the new arrival’s registration platform. “The platform which was launched recently is intended for all returnees to Qatar, whether citizens, residents, or even visitors. Everyone must fill in the required information.”  Dr. Yousef Al Maslamani, Medical Director of Hamad General Hospital, told Qatar TV. It is mandatory for all travellers to register through the platform regardless of whether they are arriving via the air, land, or sea border.

And the Peninsula said that the world parachuting championships are expected to host teams from over 40 countries. The 44th World Parachuting Championship already has 21 countries confirmed. The competition is scheduled to be held this coming November right here in Qatar.

On to Wednesday and the Qatar Tribune printed that pre-registration on Ehteraz, has been made optional for citizens and residents. The Ministry of Public Health announced that pre-registration on the Ehteraz platform before arriving in Qatar is not mandatory, but optional for citizens and residents. However, visitors are still required to pre-register and obtain approval before travel the ministry added. This overrides the previous announcement stating that pre-registration was a must for all.

Also on Wednesday the International Civil Aviation Organisation or ICAO, okayed in principal, Qatar’s proposal to set up a Doha Flight Information Region or FIR. The proposal of Qatar includes its intention to withdraw from the current arrangement whereby it has delegated to Bahrain the provision of air navigation services over its sovereign territory. The proposal of Qatar aims to support the development of safe and sustainable air transport operations in the region and reinforces Qatar’s commitment to the global aviation sector. The ICAO acknowledged that Qatar possesses the capabilities and qualifications necessary to manage air traffic safely, effectively, and provide leading services in the field of search and rescue.

Yesterday the cabinet agreed to consider holiday homes as hotel establishments. Under the project holiday homes are considered hotel establishments in accordance with the provisions of law number 20 of 2018, regarding tourism regulation and its provisions. Holiday homes means furnished housing units prepared for residents, and provided with utilities, whether they are rooms, apartments, houses, villas or camps. They are rented as a complete or divided unit on a daily or weekly basis, or any temporary period not exceeding 30 consecutive days.

Also on the front page of the Qatar Tribune was the news that Eid holidays for ministries, government entities and public institutions will start on Sunday July 18th and will end on Sunday July 25th.

On to today’s news, and on the front page of all three English medium newspapers, is that the 6th Local Fresh Dates Festival kicked off yesterday in Souq Waqif. The event will continue until July 30th and will be open daily from 4pm until 10pm. The 3,600 square metre festival tent can host 720 people at the same time.

Now for the COVID update. Brought to you by Alwadi Hotel Doha.

This week there were 525 new local cases of COVID 19 reported, and 355 cases arriving into the country, giving us a total of 880 new cases in the last seven days. There were 901 recoveries and unfortunately one COVID related death, which means there are 22 active cases less than last week, giving us a new total of 1,507 active cases

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On Saturday it was announced that Qatar Airways are the first airline to trial COVID-19 vaccine authentication through the IATA travel pass. The trial will be rolled out in phases from this month, beginning initially with cabin crew returning to Doha travelling from Kuwait, London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris and Sydney. And it was announced that vaccinated individuals in Qatar can now visit Germany without quarantine. Glückliche Tage.

On Sunday it was announced that Doha Metro are to suspend services temporarily on Fridays starting from today, as well as during the coming Eid holidays for essential systems upgrade work. And 232 worksites were shut in June for violating the summer work rule. Workers are not allowed to work outside between 10am in the morning and 3:30 in the afternoon, from June the 1st until September the 15th. And the Peninsula reported that over 80 farms are lining up for the Fresh Local Dates Festival. Which is due to start next week, and last for two weeks in Souq Waqif.

The Qatar Tribune ran a story on Monday, stating that the population of Qatar has dropped by 180,000 in the last year. The population has shrunk from 2.81 million in May 2020 to 2.63 million at the end of May 2021. According to the latest statistics released by the Planning and Statistics Authority. And the Tribune also ran a story that 64.2% of the eligible population are now fully vaccinated according to the Ministry of Public Health. The Gulf Times went for the story that 75% of those over the age of 16 have had at least one COVID shot, that’s three out of every four people.

Tuesday and the Peninsula said that the customs department had foiled a bid to smuggle crystal meth into the country. The substance which weighed over 1 kilogramme was secretly hidden inside a bread toaster. And the Gulf Times said there’s been a threefold rise in Qatar tourists visiting Georgia. I quite fancy going there myself actually, especially as Qatar citizens and residents can enter Georgia without any additional quarantine requirements, even if they have not been vaccinated yet, although I have.

Sticking with the Gulf Times and on Wednesday they said that the Prime Minister had inaugurated the Umm Al Houl expansion project. The expansion adds 61.4 million gallons of desalinated water per day, to Qatar’s production capacity. And on the bottom of the front page was that Malabar Gold’s new facility in Qatar is to make 5,000 kilogrammes of gold jewellery per year.

On to yesterday when the cabinet announced phase three of the lifting of COVID restrictions, which come into effect from today. Workplaces are to operate at 80% capacity excluding the military, security, and health sectors. Mandatory weekly rapid antigen testing for employees who have not received vaccine doses. Museums and public libraries to operate at 75% capacity. Metro and public transport services to operate at 50% capacity. Bus services also to operate at half their capacity. Weddings will be permitted at hotels and venues for up to 80 people. Private healthcare facilities to operate at full capacity. Fans are to be allowed outdoors at 50% capacity. Driving schools to run at 50% capacity. Theatres and cinemas to operate at 30% capacity and children are now allowed.

Now on to today and the news that fully vaccinated people will be exempt from quarantine starting from July the 12th which is this coming Monday. And people who have been vaccinated with a Qatar approved vaccine will be granted exemption from quarantine for 12 months starting 14 days after the required number of doses has been administered.

And some eagerly awaited news by many people, Qatar is to resume issuing tourist and family entry visas from Monday.

Now for this weeks COVID update. There were a total of 814 new cases reported in the last seven days, and 919 recoveries. Unfortunately, there were also 7 COVID related deaths, which is 3 more than the previous weeks 4 COVID related deaths. This means that there are currently 1,529 active cases, 112 less than the previous week even though 361 of the 814 new cases were arrivals entering the country. In fact, arrivals accounted for 44% of Qatar’s new cases this week and on two occasions in the last seven days there were more cases arriving than being reported within the country. 131,670 tests were performed and just 0.62% of those tested positive.

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Qatar News in 60 Seconds 6/06/21 S02E47

  • The Times’ allegations are baseless
  • Russia supports Qatar in hosting World Cup
  • Active cases of COVID-19 down by 134 to 2,939

Tags: Qatar, Doha, News, Marhaba, The Times, Andrew Norfolk, Russia, 2022, World Cup

#Qatar, #Doha, #News, #Marhaba, #TheTimes, #AndrewNorfolk, #Russia, #2022, #WorldCup

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It’s Sunday 6th June

In today’s newspapers

The Times’ allegations are baseless

The Government Communications Office has said the article published by the times on June the 4th which makes serious and baseless claims about Qatar is predicated on misleading assertions, factual inaccuracies, and bias. “Despite Qatar engaging with The Times on these issues, they chose to publish falsehoods, in an apparent abandonment of their journalistic responsibilities.” It said.

The author of the article, Andrew Norfolk has a well-documented history of promoting  Islamophobic sentiment and this article is another milestone in that effort.

Russia supports Qatar in hosting World Cup

The president of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, has reiterated Russia’s support for Qatar in hosting the FIFA World Cup 2022, noting that he had discussed the issue with His Highness the Amir. He said Russia supports Qatar in hosting the championship and is ready to cooperate with it to overcome all difficulties, if any, to make the tournament a success.

Qatar’s weather Today

Doha will see temperatures between 34 and 43 degrees. Elsewhere in the country it will be between 26 and 46 degrees.

Now today’s COVID update.

In the last 24-hour period, there have been 192 new cases of COVID-19 and 325 recoveries. Unfortunately, there was also 1 Covid related death. Which means for the 9th day running there has been a decrease in active cases, today dropping by 134 giving us a new current total of 2,939 active cases.

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Qatar News in 60 Seconds 4/06/21 S02E46

  • Random COVID tests for travellers arriving at HIA
  • QA interested in buying a large fleet of cargo planes
  • HMC updates its visitor policy for non-COVID hospitals
  • Active cases of COVID-19 down by 160 to 3,140

Tags: Qatar, Doha, News, Marhaba, HIA, Airport, PCR, Test, QA, HMC, Visiting, Hospital

#Qatar, #Doha, #News, #Marhaba, #HIA, #Airport, #PCR, #Test, #QA, #HMC, #Visiting, #Hospital

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It’s Friday 4th June

In today’s newspapers

Random COVID tests for travellers arriving at Hamad International Airport

Random COVID-19 tests will be conducted on a small number of passengers arriving at Hamad International Airport, these tests will be free of charge. “As part of Qatar’s comprehensive measures to protect the health and safety of travellers and the community, the Ministry of Public Health, through its medical teams in Hamad International Airport, are conducting random COVID-19 tests on a small sample of travellers arriving into Qatar” said the Ministry of Public Health.

Any traveller may be asked to take part in the random testing and this will be in addition to the existing mandatory pre-travel PCR test requirement. After the test which is free of charge and should only take a couple of minutes, you will be free to continue your passage into Qatar. Your Ehteraz  status will remain green while the PCR test results are processed, which should be within 24 hours. Travellers who’s PCR test comes back positive will be notified by SMS regarding the required actions they must then take.

Qatar Airways is interested in buying a large fleet of cargo planes

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker has said that the national carrier is very much interested in purchasing a huge fleet of cargo aircraft. “Qatar Airways is very interested in purchasing a large fleet of freighters because we have to now start replacing our old freighters,” Al Baker said in an interview in St. Petersburg.

Hamad Medical Corporation updates its visitor policy for non-COVID hospitals

The new visiting hours will be from 12:30pm and 8pm daily. All other precautionary measures remain in place. Visitors are required to display their green Ehteraz status, wear a mask and undergo a temperature check before entry. Only one visitor is allowed in at a time for a maximum of one hour with a maximum of three visits per day. Escorts are not allowed, and neither is food, flowers, drink or chocolates which cannot be taken into the facilities. Children under the age of 15 years are not permitted to visit patients. And no visitors are permitted in the designated COVID-19 hospitals.

Qatar’s weather Today

The Met Office have put out a warning that strong winds are expected in some places throughout the day. Doha will see temperatures between 34 and 45 degrees. Elsewhere in the country it will be between 23 and 45 degrees.

Now today’s COVID update.

In the last 24-hour period, there have been 198 new cases of COVID-19 and 356 recoveries. Unfortunately, there was also 1 Covid related death. Which means for the 7th day running there has been a decrease in active cases, today dropping by 160 giving us a new current total of 3,140 active cases.

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Qatar News in 60 Seconds 3/06/21 S02E45

  • Recovered COVID status now on Ehteraz app
  • Decision to set up Doha University for Science and Technology
  • Qatar University sees impressive rise in the Asia University Rankings
  • Active cases of COVID-19 down by 197 to 3,300

Tags: Qatar, Doha, News, Marhaba, QU, University, Ehteraz

#Qatar, #Doha, #News, #Marhaba, #QU, #University, #Ehteraz

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It’s Thursday 3rd June

In today’s newspapers

Recovered COVID status now on Ehteraz app

The Ministry of Public Health have updated the Ehteraz app by adding new features. In the updated version, the app shows a person’s health card number, the date of their last COVID-19 test and its results. For those that have recovered from COVID-19 the revised version of the app will show the recovery date, the date of infection and the number of days after the infection. Previously infected COVID-19 patients who are fully recovered now have the details of their recovery displayed on their health status. These details can be used to prove those previously infected are eligible for privileges under phase one of the gradual lifting of COVID-19 restrictions.

Decision to set up Doha University for Science and Technology gets cabinet nod

The Cabinet has approved a draught Amiri decision to establish Doha University for Science and Technology. The university aims to provide the state with specialists, technicians and experts and equipped them with suitable university qualifications, for use in areas that meet the needs of society, government agencies, institutions and various other sectors.

Qatar University sees impressive rise in the Asia University Rankings

Qatar University or QU has achieved its highest ever finish in the 2021 edition of the Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings. Climbing an impressive 17 places from 52nd place in 2020 to 35th place this year. And it has managed to maintain or improve its position in every edition of the annual Asia University Rankings since it began in 2013.

Qatar’s weather Today

Doha will see temperatures between 31 and 44 degrees. Elsewhere in the country it will be between 23 and 45 degrees.

Now today’s COVID update.

In the last 24-hour period, there have been 194 new cases of COVID-19 and 389 recoveries. Unfortunately, there was also 2 Covid related deaths. Which means for the 6th day running there has been a decrease in active cases, today dropping by 197 giving us a new current total of 3,300 active cases.

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