The Assistant Foreign Minister and Spokesperson of the Supreme Committee for Crisis Management of Qatar, Lolwah bint Rashid bin Mohammed Al Khater in a press conference today gave an update on the latest developments regarding Qatar’s efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The conference focused on gradually removing the restrictions imposed in Qatar as a result of the coronavirus. “Life activities cannot stop indefinitely, and time has come to start gradually and will be done in four phases,” she said, adding that gradual lifting of restrictions will be based on striking a balance between health risks and social and economic benefits.
Qatar will start lifting coronavirus restrictions under a four-phase plan starting on June 15.
- The first phase will allow some mosques to reopen and selected flights can depart. Private health clinics will be allowed to be open with 40 percent capacity from June 15. The capacity of clinics will be increased by 20 percent in each phase.
- The second phase starts on July 1. This phase will allow a partial opening of restaurants with limited capacity and malls for limited capacity and hours. During this phase, museums, libraries, markets, and wholesale markets will also be open with limited capacity and during specific hours.
- The third phase starts on August 1. This phase will permit the resumption of flights from low-risk countries for priority passengers, such as returning residents. It will also see the total reopening of shopping malls, while health clubs, gyms, swimming pools, salons, and hairdressers will be active with limited capacity.
- The fourth phase starts on September 1. This phase will allow wedding parties, business gatherings – such as exhibitions. It will also see the reopening of theatres, museums, libraries, and cinemas. This phase will also allow all mosques to resume normal operation and for flight schedules to be expanded. The fourth phase will also include the lifting of restrictions on educational institutions in time for the new academic year.
Restrictions could be re-imposed or the stages delayed if necessary, Khater added. Everyone entering Qatar will be required to undergo two-week quarantine in specially designated hotels at their own expense.
Qatar reported 1,368 new coronavirus cases and three deaths on Monday, bringing the total to 70,158 cases including 57 deaths. It has the second-highest number of cases after Saudi Arabia in the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which have recorded 279,662 cases of infection and 1,455 deaths.