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Qatar to scrap pre-arrival Covid test before World Cup: health ministry

Qatar is to drop pre-arrival Covid-19 tests for visitors in the run-up to the World Cup, which starts on November 20, the health ministry said on Wednesday.

“Visitors are no longer required to present a negative Covid-19 PCR or Rapid Antigen Test result before travelling to Qatar,” a statement said.

The relaxed measures, effective from November 1, were announced after Qatar last month said Covid vaccinations were not mandatory for the expected million-plus fans.

The 29-day tournament will be the first major global sporting event with fans since the Covid pandemic erupted in December 2019, killing more than six million people.

Qatari citizens and residents will also no longer need to take a PCR or rapid antigen test within 24 hours of returning from abroad, the health ministry added.

The new measures cover all visitors arriving from November 1, when Qatar will be closed to anyone without a Hayya card — the mandatory document given to ticket holders and their guests, players, media, staff and officials.

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