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U.S. Embassy in Qatar

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COVID-19 Information (11/1/2022)

Please note the changes to CDC testing requirements went into effect December 6, 2021.  In Qatar, 24 hour COVID-19 viral tests are readily available. See the CDC website for further guidance: https://www.cdc.gov .

UPDATE – As of November 1, 2022 COVID testing is not currently required for entry to Qatar.  For the most up to date guidance on Qatar’s COVID-19 policies, please see the Qatar Ministry of Public Health website .

***  As of 12:01 a.m. EDT June 12, 2022, the CDC order requiring all persons aged two and above to show a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding a flight to the United States, is rescinded.  Starting at 12:01 a.m. EDT on June 12, 2022, the CDC will no longer order air passengers to show a negative COVID-19 test result, or show documentation of recovery from COVID-19, prior to boarding a flight to the United States.   Of note, CDC’s Order requiring proof of vaccination for non-U.S. citizen nonimmigrants to travel to the United States is still in effect.  For more information see Requirement for Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination for Air Passengers.

Check the CDC website for additional information and  Frequently Asked Questions .

Country-Specific Information:

For information on testing and quarantine requirements in Qatar, please visit the  Ministry of Health’s Travel and Return Policy page  .  All questions and inquiries about Qatari requirements should be directed to the MOPH.   Please note that the U.S. Embassy is not able to intercede in matters of quarantine, COVID-19 testing, and entry to Qatar in individual cases.  

COVID-19 Testing

  • Are PCR and/or antigen tests available for U.S. citizens in Qatar?  Yes.
  • If so, are test results reliably available within one calendar day?  Yes.
  • COVID-19 tests are available from many local medical providers and hospitals.  Start by asking your primary care provider in Qatar.  Contact information for Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) health center is available  here and a list of local hospitals and physicians is available on the U.S. Embassy  website .  While some health insurance plans and employers may cover the cost of testing for travel, the U.S. Government does not provide funding for travel related COVID testing.
  • Private hospitals are charging 160 QR per PCR test.  Rapid antigen tests may be less expensive and are offered at over 100 private clinics across Doha. Please consult with the provider you select, as many only submit PCR tests for processing once daily.  Test results are usually provided by email, but some clinics require you to pick up the travel certificate in person.  Please refer to the Ministry of Public Health’s (MOPH)  COVID-19 webpage    for additional information.

Effective November 8, 2021, all non-citizen, nonimmigrant (not a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, lawful permanent resident, or traveling to the United States on an immigrant visa) airline passengers traveling to the United States, must demonstrate proof of vaccination  as defined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Order prior to boarding a U.S. bound aircraft. More details regarding what constitutes full vaccination are available on  this page of the CDC website  .  

Effective December 6, 2021, all airline passengers to the United States ages two years and older, regardless of vaccination status or citizenship, must provide a negative COVID-19 viral test (PCR or rapid antigen) taken within one calendar day of travel .   For example, a passenger whose flight to the United States is at any time on a Sunday would need to have a negative test taken at any time on Saturday. Alternatively, travelers to the United States may provide documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel.   Check the CDC  website    for additional information and  Frequently Asked Questions  .  For more information about travel guidelines to the United States, please visit  State Department’s International Travel page  .

COVID-19 Vaccine Information:

  • Has the government of Qatar approved a COVID-19 vaccine for use?  Yes.
  • Are vaccines available in Qatar for U.S. citizens to receive?  Yes.
  • Which vaccines are available in Qatar?  The Pfizer and BioNTech, and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines have been approved for emergency use by the Department of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Control in the Ministry of Public Health. The Qatari authorities continue vaccination efforts for citizens and residents in Qatar. The MOPH has information on vaccination in Qatar on its  website.  
  • Visit the  FDA’s website    to learn more about FDA-approved vaccines in the United States.
  • The United States Government does not plan to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to private U.S. citizens overseas. Please follow host country developments and guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination. Information from the CDC regarding COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Information from the CDC regarding COVID-19 vaccination is available  here.  

Entry and Exit Requirements:

  • Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter?  Yes, with restrictions.
  • Beginning July 12, 2021, Qatar expanded entry beyond Qatari citizens and residents. The  travel policy   requires travelers to register prior to travel.
  • Entry requirements, including quarantine requirements, are based on the updated MOPH Travel and Return Policy .
  • Please note that the U.S. Embassy is not able to intercede in individual matters of quarantine, COVID-19 testing and entering the country.
  • Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry?  Yes, sometimes.  It depends on vaccination status and origin of travel.
  • Are health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry?  Yes.
  • Please see details above or visit the  MOPH website and this page for further information.  All details above are subject to change by the government of Qatar at any time.
  • U.S. citizens who have been exposed to COVID-19 may find themselves quarantined by the Government of Qatar.  If you are a U.S. citizen in quarantine, please email the American Citizen Services Unit at  [email protected] , provide a phone number, and a consular officer will call you.

Quarantine Information 

  • Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine?   Yes, depending on the status of the country from which they enter Qatar and whether they are vaccinated.
  • Entry procedures, including quarantine requirements, are based on the updated MOPH travel and return policy
  • U.S. citizens may be subject to quarantine depending on their COVID 19 vaccination status.
  • For details on quarantine, please visit the  Ministry of Health’s Travel and Return Policy. 

Transportation Options:

  • Are commercial flights operating?  Yes.
  • There are multiple commercial flights to the United States every week from Qatar. U.S. citizens may depart and transit Qatar.
  • Many travelers worldwide have reported unexpected flight cancellations and limited flight availability. If your travel has been disrupted, please contact your airline.
  • Is public transportation operating?  Yes.
  • Public transportation is available. The metro, buses, excursion boats, and taxis are operating.

Fines for Non-Compliance: (if applicable)

  • Effective January 8, 2022, masks are required in all indoor and outdoor public places except when exercising outdoors.  Penalties, including referral to the Public Prosecutor, for non-compliance do exist and vary depending on the circumstance.   

Consular Operations:

  • All American Citizen Services are being provided.  Priority is given to emergency cases.  Individuals can schedule an appointment for services  online.
  • All visa services are also available.  For more information, please visit   https://qa.usembassy.gov/visas.

 Local Resources:

  • https://covid19.moph.gov.qa  
  • https://covid19.moph.gov.qa/EN/travel-and-return-policy/Pages/default.aspx  
  • https://www.gco.gov.qa/en/preventative-measures  
  • https://www.facebook.com/MOPHQatar  

Other links:

  • COVID-19 information page on travel.state.gov  
  • CDC page on COVID-19  
  • https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Qatar.html  
  • CDC – Requirement for Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination for Air Passengers  
  • Frequently Asked Questions on COVID-19 Vaccinations and Testing for International Travel  

Last Updated: July 7, 2022

travel to qatar covid rules

  • Smart Traveler Enrollment Program The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals traveling and living abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Enroll Now
  • Looking for the nearest embassy or consulate? Visit the official list of embassies, consulates, and diplomatic missions from the U.S. Department of State. Find the nearest Embassy or Consulate
  • Coronavirus.gov A portal for public information that is curated by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Task Force at the White House, working in conjunction with CDC, HHS and other agency stakeholders. Visit Coronavirus.gov .
  • Contact your nearest embassy or call 1-888-407-4747 (U.S./Canada) or +1-202-501-4444 (overseas)
  • Contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate
  • Enroll for Alerts

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Can I travel to Qatar? Entry requirements explained

Aerial view of Qatar

The FIFA World Cup will take place in Qatar from 20 November to 18 December 2022, and the question on everyone’s mind is whether UK travellers are allowed to enter the country. Here’s what you need to know about the entry requirements and Covid test rules if you're planning a trip to Qatar.

Can I go to Qatar on holiday?

Yes. Ahead of the FIFA World Cup, Qatar has announced that it will be dropping its final restrictions. This comes as thousands of fans plan to travel to the country for the tournament.

What are the Qatar travel restrictions for Covid?

As of Tuesday 1 November, the country dropped the last of its Covid restrictions. Travellers arriving in Qatar are no longer required to undergo self-isolation, report their Covid status through test certificates or register on the Ehteraz health application system prior to arrival. However, it is still mandatory for travellers to present their health status on the Ehteraz app when entering public and private healthcare facilities.

Before this change, all travellers needed to provide a negative PCR test valid for 48 hours or a Rapid Antigen test certificate valid for 24 hours before flight departure.

There are no test or quarantine requirements upon returning to England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland as the UK lifted all Covid travel restrictions earlier this year.

Thermal screening or temperature checks on arrival in Qatar may still be in place, while at-home pre-flight testing, as with travelling responsibly anywhere in the world, is still recommended.

Can you travel to Qatar unvaccinated?

Yes. The rules in effect as of 1 November are the same regardless of vaccination status.

Is it safe to travel to Qatar now?

Qatar is considered safe to travel to according to The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. However, FCDO stresses the importance of getting travel insurance that provides sufficient coverage abroad. It’s best to keep up to date with the latest travel advice by signing up for email updates from FCDOs’ Qatar travel page.

Skyline from a boat in Qatar

I’m attending the FIFA World Cup. What are the requirements?

You need to apply for a Hayya card , a form of Fan ID required to enter the country during the tournament.

The Hayya card will also give you free access to public transport on match days. Be sure to apply early to avoid delays – and check the Hayya portal website for the latest information. 

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Exercise normal safety precautions in Qatar.


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The Middle East (PDF 1.45 MB)

Local emergency contacts

Fire and rescue services, medical emergencies.

Call 999, or go directly to the hospital.

Call 999, or visit the nearest police station.

Advice levels

  • Conflict in other areas of the Middle East and Gulf region could affect Qatar. Demonstrations and protests can occur and may turn violent. Avoid protests and large public gatherings as they can turn violent. Monitor local and international media and follow the advice of local authorities. 
  • Several terrorist attacks have happened in the wider Gulf region in recent years. Terrorists may target tourist areas and attractions. More attacks could occur. If there's a security incident, follow the advice of local authorities.
  • Qatar has a low crime rate. Pickpocketing, bag snatching and other petty crimes are rare but can happen. Keep an eye on your belongings, especially in crowded places.
  • Bank and credit card fraud can occur. Always keep your credit card in sight when shopping.
  • Be prepared for extreme weather. From June to September, temperatures can reach over 50˚C. Flash flooding can sometimes happen. Follow the advice of local officials.

Full travel advice:  Safety

  • Cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus have been reported in Qatar. Avoid contact with camels and products contaminated with camel secretions.
  • Qatar can experience periods of high air pollution. Sand and dust storms can also worsen breathing issues. Talk to your doctor before you travel if you have concerns.
  • Get comprehensive  travel insurance  before you leave. The mandatory medical insurance required by all visitors to Qatar only covers medical treatment in Qatar, not other common issues relating to travel, for example, lost luggage.

Full travel advice:  Health

  • Qatari laws and customs are very different to those in Australia. If you're detained or arrested, ask police or prison officials to inform the Australian Embassy in Doha.
  • Don't use or carry illegal drugs. Penalties for drug offences include long jail terms. Authorities can detain and deport you if you carry medication to treat HIV and hepatitis. This can also happen if you test positive for either illness.
  • Sex outside of marriage is illegal. If you're the victim of a sexual assault, authorities may arrest, detain or prosecute you for adultery. If you're sexually assaulted in Qatar, ask us for consular help and advice on available support services immediately.  Sexual Assault Service
  • Qatar has conservative codes of dress and behaviour. Visitors are expected to cover their shoulders and knees when visiting public places, including museums and other government buildings. If you're at tourist attractions, shopping malls and other public places, check the specific dress codes at the venue or online.
  • Avoid commenting on Qatari culture, government policy or services, and commercial enterprises online while in Qatar. This includes reviewing hotel or restaurant experiences on social media. These activities could be considered cybercrime offences in Qatar.

Full travel advice:  Local laws

  • From 1 February, all visitors must purchase health insurance for the duration of their stay in Qatar. You can purchase insurance from companies approved by the Qatari Ministry of Public Health at a standard cost of 50 Qatari Riyals per month, either prior to or on arrival in Qatar. For more information:  Ministry of Public Health – Mandatory Health Insurance Scheme (moph.gov.qa) . Health insurance policies purchased outside Qatar may not meet Qatari entry requirements – please check with MoPH if in doubt.

You may be asked to show proof of your accommodation for the duration of your stay in Qatar on arrival at Hamad International Airport.

  • If you have an existing Hayya Card that was obtained to enter Qatar during the 2022 FIFA World Cup, you can use it to enter Qatar until 24 January 2024, provided you meet other entry requirements such as proof of accommodation, health insurance and onwards travel. You can no longer apply for a Hayya card to enter Qatar. If you don't have a Hayya card, you'll need a visa to enter. You may be eligible for a visa on arrival. Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. Contact the nearest embassy or consulate of Qatar for the latest details.
  • Driving in Qatar can be difficult and dangerous. Make sure you understand local laws and practices. It's illegal to use obscene language or hand gestures in traffic. It's also illegal to drive after drinking any amount of alcohol.   
  • Many areas of the Gulf are sensitive to security issues and territorial disputes. There's also a risk of  piracy . If you're planning sea travel, refer to the International Maritime Bureau's  piracy reports .

Full travel advice:  Travel

Local contacts

  • The  Consular Services Charter  details what we can and can't do to help you overseas.
  • For consular assistance, contact the  Australian Embassy in Doha . The working week is Sunday to Thursday.
  • To stay up to date with local information, follow the Embassy's social media accounts.

Full travel advice:  Local contacts

Full advice

There have been several terrorist attacks in the Gulf region in recent years. These have occurred at places visited by foreigners. Take official warnings seriously.

Attacks could occur at any time and could target:

  • places of worship
  • hotels, restaurants, and bars
  • sporting venues
  • military sites
  • transport hubs
  • crowded public places
  • other locations Westerners may visit

If there's an attack, leave the affected area straight away if it's safe to.

Terrorism is a threat worldwide.

More information:

  • Terrorist threats

Civil unrest and domestic political tension

Public protests and events that attract large groups of people can occur with little notice.

Conflict in the Middle East and Gulf region could affect Qatar. 

To stay safe:

  • avoid protests, demonstrations and other large public gatherings as they could turn violent
  • be aware of local concerns about regional affairs
  • check the news and other sources for details on planned and possible unrest or strikes
  • plan your activities to avoid potential unrest
  • change your travel plans if needed
  • follow the advice of local authorities

If civil unrest disrupts your travel, contact your airline, travel agent or insurer for help.

  • Demonstrations and civil unrest

Qatar has a low crime rate.

Pickpocketing, bag snatching and other petty crime is rare but can happen. Keep an eye on your belongings, especially in crowded places. 

Banking and credit card fraud can occur. Always keep your credit card in sight.

Unaccompanied women can be vulnerable to harassment. Women should take care when travelling alone, particularly at night. You should pay attention to your immediate surroundings and exercise judgement.

Cyber security

You may be at risk of cyber-based threats during overseas travel to any country. Digital identity theft is a growing concern. Your devices and personal data can be compromised, especially if you’re connecting to Wi-Fi, using or connecting to shared or public computers, or to Bluetooth.

Social media can also be risky in destinations where there are social or political tensions, or laws that may seem unreasonable by Australian standards. Travellers have been arrested for things they have said on social media. Don't comment on local or political events on your social media.

Cyber security when travelling overseas

Tours and adventure activities

Transport and tour operators don't always follow safety and maintenance standards. This includes 4WD adventure activities in the desert.

If you plan to do a tour or  adventure activity :

  • check if your travel insurance policy covers it
  • that vehicles are well-equipped for the desert
  • if there's enough water, fuel, food provisions and a mobile phone
  • ask about and insist on minimum safety requirements
  • always use available safety gear, such as life jackets or seatbelts

If proper safety equipment isn't available, use another provider.

  • leave a copy of your travel itinerary with friends or relatives
  • adjust your plans if the weather makes conditions unsafe
  • seek advice from local authorities

Climate and natural disasters

Qatar often experiences extremely high temperatures. From June to September, the temperature can be higher than 50°C.

To avoid heat stroke and dehydration:

  • drink plenty of water
  • avoid long periods in the heat

Sandstorms and dust storms occur often.

If there's a  natural disaster  or  severe weather :

  • keep your passport in a safe, waterproof place
  • closely monitor local media and other sources such as the  Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System
  • keep in contact with friends and family
  • Travel insurance

Get comprehensive  travel insurance  before you leave. 

Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won't pay for these costs.

From 1 February, all visitors must purchase health insurance for the duration of their stay in Qatar. You can purchase insurance from companies approved by the Qatari Ministry of Public Health at a standard cost of 50 Qatari Riyals per month prior to or on arrival in Qatar. Further details can be found here:  Ministry of Public Health – Mandatory Health Insurance Scheme (moph.gov.qa) . Health insurance policies purchased outside Qatar may not meet Qatari entry requirements – please check with MoPH if in doubt. If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.

If you're not insured, you may have to pay many thousands of dollars up-front for medical care.

  • what activities and care your policy covers
  • that your insurance covers you for the whole time you'll be away

Physical and mental health

Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition. 

See your doctor or travel clinic to:

  • have a basic health check-up
  • ask if your travel plans may affect your health
  • plan any vaccinations you need

Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.

If you have immediate concerns for your welfare or the welfare of another Australian, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or contact your  nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate  to discuss counselling hotlines and services available in your location.

  • General health advice
  • Healthy holiday tips  (Healthdirect Australia)


Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.

If you plan to bring medication, check if it's legal in Qatar. Take enough legal medicine for your trip. For more information check the Ministry of Public Health Guideline of controlled drugs for travellers [PDF 614KB] .

For any medication you're carrying, or that may be detected in your system, c arry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating:

  • what the medication is
  • your required dosage
  • that it's for personal use

Get medical documents  authenticated  by DFAT in Australia if needed.

  • Embassy of Qatar in Australia

Health risks

Middle east respiratory syndrome coronavirus.

Cases of  Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus  have been reported in Qatar.

There may be a small risk of contracting MERS via ongoing physical contact with camels. To minimise this risk, avoid consuming raw camel milk, undercooked camel meat, or anything contaminated with camel secretions.

Get medical advice if you have a fever, cough, breathing difficulties or diarrhoea.

  • MERS information card  (Department of Health and Aged Care)

Air pollution

The level of air pollution in Qatar is high by global standards. Dust storms and sandstorms happen often, which can worsen breathing issues.

If you're concerned about the effects of pollution, or dust and sandstorms, speak to your doctor before leaving Australia.

Medical care

Medical facilities.

Public medical facilities in Qatar are comparable to those in Australia.

You may need to be evacuated if you become seriously ill or injured. Medical evacuation can be very expensive.

There are big differences between laws in Australia and Qatar. Behaviour that could be considered offensive or anti-social, but not criminal, in Australia could violate Qatari law.

You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling. 

If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our  Consular Services Charter . But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.

If you're detained or arrested, ask police or prison officials to inform the Australian Embassy in Doha.

To meet Qatari requirements, your Australian documents may need extra legal approval before you can use them overseas. Check the rules with the nearest  embassy or consulate of Qatar .

Penalties for drug offences include long jail terms. Authorities could charge you with possession if they can detect illegal drugs in your body.

Medications that are available over the counter or by prescription in Australia may be illegal in Qatar.

Authorities can detain and deport you if you carry medication to treat HIV and hepatitis. This can also happen if you test positive to either illness.

Check the status of your medicines with an  embassy or consulate of Qatar . See  Health

  • Carrying or using drugs

Commercial, civil, family and employment law

There are significant differences between Australia's and Qatar's laws on commercial, civil, family and employment matters.

If you become involved in local family law matters such as divorce, child custody and child support:

  • get professional legal advice
  • understand your rights and responsibilities under Qatari law

Commercial law

If you're involved in a commercial civil dispute, local firms or courts may take your passport.

Authorities can stop you leaving Qatar until the dispute is resolved.

If you owe money, you may be jailed until you settle your debts.

Authorities can arrest and jail you for fraud if you:

  • present a cheque that bounces
  • fail to pay bills or fines
  • have an overdue personal loan or local credit card or similar

Authorities may detain you when you arrive if you have debts or criminal charges in Qatar. This can happen even if you're only transiting through Qatar.

If you're not a resident of Qatar, you may not get bail for crimes involving fraud.

Child custody laws are based on Islamic law.

Employment matters

If you have a job in Qatar, you may require an exit permit from your employer to leave the country.

  • Living or working overseas
  • Legalising documents

Eating and drinking laws

It's illegal to:

  • eat, drink or smoke in public between sunrise and sunset during  Ramadan
  • drink alcohol, if you're Muslim
  • drink alcohol or be drunk in public
  • drink alcohol outside licensed premises

Expats living in Qatar can buy alcohol on a permit system.

Alcohol is currently only available to visitors at licenced hotel restaurants and bars. The legal drinking age in Qatar is 21. It is an offence to drink alcohol or be drunk in a public place.

The importation of alcohol into the State of Qatar is illegal. You will not be able to purchase alcohol from duty free in airports.

Sex and intimacy laws

  • have sex outside marriage
  • be sexually intimate or overly affectionate in public
  • engage in same-sex relationships
  • stalk or harass women verbally, physically or online
  • Advice for LGBTI travellers

Other illegal activities

  • bring pornography, pork products, alcohol, firearms or religious books or materials other than those relating to Islam into Qatar
  • photograph government buildings or military sites
  • photograph local people, particularly women, without permission

Victims of sexual assault

Depending on the situation, victims of sexual assault in Qatar, may face arrest, detention or criminal prosecution for having sex outside of marriage.

If you're sexually assaulted in Qatar, contact the Australian Embassy in Doha or the Consular Emergency Centre in Canberra immediately. Ask for guidance and information on support services.

Consular officers can't provide legal or medical advice. They can provide lists of English-speaking service providers who may be able to help you.

  • Sexual assault
  • Sexual Assault Service (Hamad General Hospital)

Australian laws

Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you're overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.

  • Staying within the law and respecting customs

Dual citizenship

Qatar doesn't recognise dual nationality.

If you're a dual national and authorities arrest or detain you, o ur ability to deliver consular services may be limited. 

Always travel on your  Australian passport .

The children of Qatari fathers automatically receive Qatari citizenship at birth. Qatari fathers can stop their children from leaving Qatar.

  • Dual nationals

Local customs

There are conservative codes of dress and behaviour in Qatar. Visitors must cover their shoulders and knees when visiting public places like museums and other government buildings.  If you plan to visit tourist attractions, shopping malls and other public places, check the specific dress codes. Look for details on display at the venues or on their websites. Take care not to offend. If in doubt, seek local advice.  

Avoid commenting on Qatari culture, government policy or services, and commercial enterprises online while in Qatar. This includes reviewing hotel or restaurant experiences on social media. These activities could be considered slanderous or cyber-crime offences in Qatar.

Offensive behaviour

Swearing and making rude gestures are considered obscene acts and you can be fined, jailed and/or deported. Take particular care when dealing with the police and other officials.

The Islamic holy month of Ramadan is observed in Qatar. Respect religious and cultural customs and laws during this time.

During Ramadan, eating, drinking and smoking may be illegal in public during the day. If you're not fasting, avoid these activities around people who are. Seek local advice to avoid offence.

Explore our Ramadan page to learn more, including dates for Ramadan.

Visas and border measures

Every country or territory decides who can enter or leave through its borders. For specific information about the evidence you'll need to enter a foreign destination, check with the nearest embassy, consulate or immigration department of the destination you're entering. 

If you have an existing Hayya Card obtained for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, you can use it to enter Qatar until 24 January 2024, provided you meet other entry requirements such as proof of accommodation, health insurance and onward travel. You can no longer apply for a Hayya card to enter Qatar.

If you don't have a Hayya card, you'll need a visa to enter Qatar. You may be eligible for a visa on arrival. The type of visa you need will depend on your country of residence and the purpose of your travel.

From 1 February, all visitors must purchase health insurance prior to or on arrival in Qatar. Visitors can purchase insurance from companies approved by the Qatari Ministry of Public Health at a standard cost of 50 Qatari Riyals per month. Further details:  Ministry of Public Health - Mandatory Health Insurance Scheme (moph.gov.qa) . The medical component of travel insurance policies purchased outside Qatar may not meet Qatari entry requirements – check with MoPH if in doubt.

Entry and exit rules can change at short notice. For details about visas, currency, customs and quarantine regulations, contact:

  • Visas & Immigration (Hamad International Airport)
  • the  Embassy of the State of Qatar
  • the official State of Qatar  E-Government English Language website

Qatari authorities won't issue visas in an Australian emergency passport. You can only use an emergency passport to leave or travel through Qatar.

Border measures

Transiting through Qatar is permitted if you meet the requirements of your final destination country. There are no additional requirements for transiting passengers, even if you choose to use the transit hotel within the airport. Further information about transiting through Qatar can be found on the webpage for  Hamad International Airport  and Visit Qatar .

For more information, call 109 from inside Qatar or +974 44069999 from outside Qatar, or contact the nearest Qatari embassy or consulate .

Some countries won't let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave that country. This can apply even if you're just transiting or stopping over.

Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.

You can end up stranded if your passport is not valid for more than 6 months.

The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport's expiry date before you travel. If you're not sure it'll be valid for long enough, consider getting  a new passport .

Lost or stolen passport

Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.

Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.

If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible:

  • In Australia, contact the  Australian Passport Information Service .
  • If you're overseas, contact the nearest  Australian embassy or consulate .

The Australian Embassy can't issue a new passport in the airport transit area. If you're in the transit area without a passport, you'll need to return to Australia. In Australia, you'll need to apply for a new passport.

Passport with ‘X’ gender identifier

Although Australian passports comply with international standards for sex and gender, we can’t guarantee that a passport showing 'X' in the sex field will be accepted for entry or transit by another country. Contact the nearest  embassy, high commission or consulate of your destination  before you arrive at the border to confirm if authorities will accept passports with 'X' gender markers.

LGBTI travellers

The local currency is the Qatari Riyal (QAR).

Change currency only at commercial banks and official exchange bureaus.

Most businesses that deal with tourists accept international credit cards. ATMs are widely available.

Ask your bank if your cards will work in Qatar.

Local travel

Driving permit.

You can drive in Qatar with:

  • a valid Australian driver's licence
  • an International Driving Permit (IDP)

Get your IDP before leaving home.

If you hold a residence permit, you'll need a Qatari driver's licence.

  • Official State of Qatar

Road travel

Traffic accidents are a leading cause of death in Qatar. It's challenging and dangerous to drive due to road construction and high speeds.

If you have a non-Qatari licence, you can rent a car if you are 25 years and above and have held a valid driving licence for at least 12 months. The availability of rental cars is likely to be low due to the high demand in Qatar.

Visitors or business visa holders with a driver's licence from their home country can drive for up to 15 days from the date of entry into Qatar. You'll need to apply for a temporary Qatar driving licence to extend this. 

If you have an international licence, you can drive for up to 6 months from your date of entry into Qatar.

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) residents with a GCC driver's licence can drive for up to 3 months from their date of entry into Qatar.

Be careful driving on rural roads. They can be dangerous because of:

  • unsafe driving
  • drifting sands

Sandstorms and dust storms occur. This can significantly reduce visibility and lead to road accidents.

Rain can cause dangerous road conditions and flash flooding.

It's illegal:

  • to drive with any alcohol in your system
  • to leave the scene of an accident as a driver until the police tell you to do so

You can only move your vehicle off the road if there are no injuries from the accident.

It's also illegal to use obscene language and hand gestures in traffic. This includes responding to other drivers' poor driving or traffic incidents.

If you plan to drive:

  • check you have enough insurance coverage before driving
  • check local traffic laws and practices before driving
  • drive carefully and legally
  • avoid arguments over traffic incidents

If you have an accident, contact the police and stay with your vehicle if it's safe to do so.

  • Driving or riding


Check if your travel insurance policy covers you when using a motorbike, quad bike or similar vehicle.

Always wear a helmet.

Avoid touts and only use registered taxis and limousines. Arrange these through your accommodation. Avoid shared taxis.

Ride-sharing applications such as Uber are used extensively by the community, particularly in Doha.

Public transport

Qatar has a well-developed bus transport network and metro system. Information and timetables can be found online at Mowasalat 

Taxis and ride share vehicles are widely available in Doha.

  • Transport and getting around safely

Many areas of the Gulf are sensitive to security issues and territorial disputes.

Disputes about sea boundaries can occur. There are disagreements about the sea boundaries and control of Abu Musa and Tunbs islands in the Southern Gulf.

Authorities can inspect your vessel, and detain or arrest you if you're in sensitive waters.

Piracy  happens in the Gulf.  The  International Maritime Bureau  issues piracy reports on its website.

  • Travelling by boat

DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.

Check  Qatar's air safety profile  with the Aviation Safety Network.


Depending on what you need, contact your:

  • family and friends
  • travel agent
  • insurance provider

Always get a police report when you report a crime.

Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number. 

Consular contacts

Read the  Consular Services Charter  for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.

For consular assistance, contact the Australian Embassy in Doha.

The working week is Sunday to Thursday.

Australian Embassy, Doha

Tornado Tower Majlis Al Taawon Street Doha, Qatar Phone: (+974) 4007 8500 Email:  [email protected] Website:  qatar.embassy.gov.au

Check the Embassy website for details about opening hours and any temporary closures.

24-hour Consular Emergency Centre

In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:

  • +61 2 6261 3305 from overseas
  • 1300 555 135 in Australia


Travelling to Qatar?

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Caution October 19, 2023

Worldwide caution, update january 10, 2024, information for u.s. citizens in the middle east.

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Qatar Travel Advisory

Travel advisory july 13, 2023, qatar - level 1: exercise normal precautions.

Reissued with obsolete COVID-19 page links removed.

Exercise normal precautions in Qatar.

Due to risks to civil aviation operating within the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman region, including Qatar, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued an advisory Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) and/or a Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR). For more information U.S. citizens should consult the  Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices .

Read the  country information page  for additional information on travel to Qatar.

If you decide to travel to Qatar:

  • Enroll in the  Smart Traveler Enrollment Program  ( STEP ) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on  Facebook  and  Twitter .
  • Follow the U.S. Embassy in Qatar on  Facebook  and  Twitter .
  • Review the  Country Security Report  for Qatar.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest  Travel Health Information  related to your travel.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the  Traveler’s Checklist .

Travel Advisory Levels

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Warnings and insurance

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office ( FCDO ) provides advice about risks of travel to help British nationals make informed decisions. Find out more about FCDO travel advice .

Before you travel

No travel can be guaranteed safe. Read all the advice in this guide as well as support for British nationals abroad which includes:

  • advice on preparing for travel abroad and reducing risks
  • information for women, LGBT+ and disabled travellers

Follow and contact FCDO travel on Twitter , Facebook and Instagram . You can also sign up to get email notifications when this advice is updated.

Travel insurance

If you choose to travel, research your destinations and get appropriate travel insurance . Insurance should cover your itinerary, planned activities and expenses in an emergency.

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Qatar Traveler View

Travel health notices, vaccines and medicines, non-vaccine-preventable diseases, stay healthy and safe.

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After Your Trip

Map - Qatar

Be aware of current health issues in Qatar. Learn how to protect yourself.

Level 1 Practice Usual Precautions

  • Global Measles November 20, 2023 Many international destinations are reporting increased numbers of cases of measles. Country List : Afghanistan, Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Gabon, India, Indonesia, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Republic of the Congo , Senegal, Somalia, Republic of South Sudan, Sudan, Tajikistan, Togo, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Nepal, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, Mauritania, Lebanon, Equatorial Guinea, Syria, Ghana, Kazakhstan, Burkina Faso, Turkey, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Libya, Burundi, Mozambique, Romania

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Check the vaccines and medicines list and visit your doctor at least a month before your trip to get vaccines or medicines you may need. If you or your doctor need help finding a location that provides certain vaccines or medicines, visit the Find a Clinic page.

Routine vaccines


Make sure you are up-to-date on all routine vaccines before every trip. Some of these vaccines include

  • Chickenpox (Varicella)
  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis
  • Flu (influenza)
  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR)

Immunization schedules

All eligible travelers should be up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines. Please see  Your COVID-19 Vaccination  for more information. 

COVID-19 vaccine

Hepatitis A

Recommended for unvaccinated travelers one year old or older going to Qatar.

Infants 6 to 11 months old should also be vaccinated against Hepatitis A. The dose does not count toward the routine 2-dose series.

Travelers allergic to a vaccine component or who are younger than 6 months should receive a single dose of immune globulin, which provides effective protection for up to 2 months depending on dosage given.

Unvaccinated travelers who are over 40 years old, immunocompromised, or have chronic medical conditions planning to depart to a risk area in less than 2 weeks should get the initial dose of vaccine and at the same appointment receive immune globulin.

Hepatitis A - CDC Yellow Book

Dosing info - Hep A

Hepatitis B

Recommended for unvaccinated travelers younger than 60 years old traveling to Qatar. Unvaccinated travelers 60 years and older may get vaccinated before traveling to Qatar.

Hepatitis B - CDC Yellow Book

Dosing info - Hep B

Infants 6 to 11 months old traveling internationally should get 1 dose of measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine before travel. This dose does not count as part of the routine childhood vaccination series.

Measles (Rubeola) - CDC Yellow Book

Rabid dogs are commonly found in Qatar. However, if you are bitten or scratched by a dog or other mammal while in Qatar, rabies treatment is often available. 

Consider rabies vaccination before your trip if your activities mean you will be around dogs or wildlife.

Travelers more likely to encounter rabid animals include

  • Campers, adventure travelers, or cave explorers (spelunkers)
  • Veterinarians, animal handlers, field biologists, or laboratory workers handling animal specimens
  • Visitors to rural areas

Since children are more likely to be bitten or scratched by a dog or other animals, consider rabies vaccination for children traveling to Qatar. 

Rabies - CDC Yellow Book

Recommended for most travelers, especially those staying with friends or relatives or visiting smaller cities or rural areas.

Typhoid - CDC Yellow Book

Dosing info - Typhoid

Yellow Fever

Required for travelers ≥9 months old arriving from countries with risk for YF virus transmission. 1

Yellow Fever - CDC Yellow Book

Avoid contaminated water


How most people get sick (most common modes of transmission)

  • Touching urine or other body fluids from an animal infected with leptospirosis
  • Swimming or wading in urine-contaminated fresh water, or contact with urine-contaminated mud
  • Drinking water or eating food contaminated with animal urine
  • Avoid contaminated water and soil

Clinical Guidance

Avoid bug bites.

  • Mosquito bite
  • Avoid Bug Bites

Airborne & droplet

  • Breathing in air or accidentally eating food contaminated with the urine, droppings, or saliva of infected rodents
  • Bite from an infected rodent
  • Less commonly, being around someone sick with hantavirus (only occurs with Andes virus)
  • Avoid rodents and areas where they live
  • Avoid sick people

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)

  • Scientists do not fully understand how the MERS virus spreads
  • May spread from to others when an infected person coughs or sneezes
  • May spread to people from camels.

Middle East Respiratory virus syndrome (MERS)

Tuberculosis (TB)

  • Breathe in TB bacteria that is in the air from an infected and contagious person coughing, speaking, or singing.

Learn actions you can take to stay healthy and safe on your trip. Vaccines cannot protect you from many diseases in Qatar, so your behaviors are important.

Eat and drink safely

Food and water standards around the world vary based on the destination. Standards may also differ within a country and risk may change depending on activity type (e.g., hiking versus business trip). You can learn more about safe food and drink choices when traveling by accessing the resources below.

  • Choose Safe Food and Drinks When Traveling
  • Water Treatment Options When Hiking, Camping or Traveling
  • Global Water, Sanitation and Hygiene | Healthy Water
  • Avoid Contaminated Water During Travel

You can also visit the Department of State Country Information Pages for additional information about food and water safety.

Prevent bug bites

Bugs (like mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas) can spread a number of diseases in Qatar. Many of these diseases cannot be prevented with a vaccine or medicine. You can reduce your risk by taking steps to prevent bug bites.

What can I do to prevent bug bites?

  • Cover exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats.
  • Use an appropriate insect repellent (see below).
  • Use permethrin-treated clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents). Do not use permethrin directly on skin.
  • Stay and sleep in air-conditioned or screened rooms.
  • Use a bed net if the area where you are sleeping is exposed to the outdoors.

What type of insect repellent should I use?

  • FOR PROTECTION AGAINST TICKS AND MOSQUITOES: Use a repellent that contains 20% or more DEET for protection that lasts up to several hours.
  • Picaridin (also known as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, and icaridin)
  • Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthane-diol (PMD)
  • 2-undecanone
  • Always use insect repellent as directed.

What should I do if I am bitten by bugs?

  • Avoid scratching bug bites, and apply hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion to reduce the itching.
  • Check your entire body for ticks after outdoor activity. Be sure to remove ticks properly.

What can I do to avoid bed bugs?

Although bed bugs do not carry disease, they are an annoyance. See our information page about avoiding bug bites for some easy tips to avoid them. For more information on bed bugs, see Bed Bugs .

For more detailed information on avoiding bug bites, see Avoid Bug Bites .

Stay safe outdoors

If your travel plans in Qatar include outdoor activities, take these steps to stay safe and healthy during your trip.

  • Stay alert to changing weather conditions and adjust your plans if conditions become unsafe.
  • Prepare for activities by wearing the right clothes and packing protective items, such as bug spray, sunscreen, and a basic first aid kit.
  • Consider learning basic first aid and CPR before travel. Bring a travel health kit with items appropriate for your activities.
  • If you are outside for many hours in heat, eat salty snacks and drink water to stay hydrated and replace salt lost through sweating.
  • Protect yourself from UV radiation : use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, wear protective clothing, and seek shade during the hottest time of day (10 a.m.–4 p.m.).
  • Be especially careful during summer months and at high elevation. Because sunlight reflects off snow, sand, and water, sun exposure may be increased during activities like skiing, swimming, and sailing.
  • Very cold temperatures can be dangerous. Dress in layers and cover heads, hands, and feet properly if you are visiting a cold location.

Stay safe around water

  • Swim only in designated swimming areas. Obey lifeguards and warning flags on beaches.
  • Practice safe boating—follow all boating safety laws, do not drink alcohol if driving a boat, and always wear a life jacket.
  • Do not dive into shallow water.
  • Do not swim in freshwater in developing areas or where sanitation is poor.
  • Avoid swallowing water when swimming. Untreated water can carry germs that make you sick.
  • To prevent infections, wear shoes on beaches where there may be animal waste.

Keep away from animals

Most animals avoid people, but they may attack if they feel threatened, are protecting their young or territory, or if they are injured or ill. Animal bites and scratches can lead to serious diseases such as rabies.

Follow these tips to protect yourself:

  • Do not touch or feed any animals you do not know.
  • Do not allow animals to lick open wounds, and do not get animal saliva in your eyes or mouth.
  • Avoid rodents and their urine and feces.
  • Traveling pets should be supervised closely and not allowed to come in contact with local animals.
  • If you wake in a room with a bat, seek medical care immediately. Bat bites may be hard to see.

All animals can pose a threat, but be extra careful around dogs, bats, monkeys, sea animals such as jellyfish, and snakes. If you are bitten or scratched by an animal, immediately:

  • Wash the wound with soap and clean water.
  • Go to a doctor right away.
  • Tell your doctor about your injury when you get back to the United States.

Consider buying medical evacuation insurance. Rabies is a deadly disease that must be treated quickly, and treatment may not be available in some countries.

Reduce your exposure to germs

Follow these tips to avoid getting sick or spreading illness to others while traveling:

  • Wash your hands often, especially before eating.
  • If soap and water aren’t available, clean hands with hand sanitizer (containing at least 60% alcohol).
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you need to touch your face, make sure your hands are clean.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Try to avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home or in your hotel room, unless you need medical care.

Avoid sharing body fluids

Diseases can be spread through body fluids, such as saliva, blood, vomit, and semen.

Protect yourself:

  • Use latex condoms correctly.
  • Do not inject drugs.
  • Limit alcohol consumption. People take more risks when intoxicated.
  • Do not share needles or any devices that can break the skin. That includes needles for tattoos, piercings, and acupuncture.
  • If you receive medical or dental care, make sure the equipment is disinfected or sanitized.

Know how to get medical care while traveling

Plan for how you will get health care during your trip, should the need arise:

  • Carry a list of local doctors and hospitals at your destination.
  • Review your health insurance plan to determine what medical services it would cover during your trip. Consider purchasing travel health and medical evacuation insurance.
  • Carry a card that identifies, in the local language, your blood type, chronic conditions or serious allergies, and the generic names of any medications you take.
  • Some prescription drugs may be illegal in other countries. Call Qatar’s embassy to verify that all of your prescription(s) are legal to bring with you.
  • Bring all the medicines (including over-the-counter medicines) you think you might need during your trip, including extra in case of travel delays. Ask your doctor to help you get prescriptions filled early if you need to.

Many foreign hospitals and clinics are accredited by the Joint Commission International. A list of accredited facilities is available at their website ( www.jointcommissioninternational.org ).

In some countries, medicine (prescription and over-the-counter) may be substandard or counterfeit. Bring the medicines you will need from the United States to avoid having to buy them at your destination.

Select safe transportation

Motor vehicle crashes are the #1 killer of healthy US citizens in foreign countries.

In many places cars, buses, large trucks, rickshaws, bikes, people on foot, and even animals share the same lanes of traffic, increasing the risk for crashes.

Be smart when you are traveling on foot.

  • Use sidewalks and marked crosswalks.
  • Pay attention to the traffic around you, especially in crowded areas.
  • Remember, people on foot do not always have the right of way in other countries.


Choose a safe vehicle.

  • Choose official taxis or public transportation, such as trains and buses.
  • Ride only in cars that have seatbelts.
  • Avoid overcrowded, overloaded, top-heavy buses and minivans.
  • Avoid riding on motorcycles or motorbikes, especially motorbike taxis. (Many crashes are caused by inexperienced motorbike drivers.)
  • Choose newer vehicles—they may have more safety features, such as airbags, and be more reliable.
  • Choose larger vehicles, which may provide more protection in crashes.

Think about the driver.

  • Do not drive after drinking alcohol or ride with someone who has been drinking.
  • Consider hiring a licensed, trained driver familiar with the area.
  • Arrange payment before departing.

Follow basic safety tips.

  • Wear a seatbelt at all times.
  • Sit in the back seat of cars and taxis.
  • When on motorbikes or bicycles, always wear a helmet. (Bring a helmet from home, if needed.)
  • Avoid driving at night; street lighting in certain parts of Qatar may be poor.
  • Do not use a cell phone or text while driving (illegal in many countries).
  • Travel during daylight hours only, especially in rural areas.
  • If you choose to drive a vehicle in Qatar, learn the local traffic laws and have the proper paperwork.
  • Get any driving permits and insurance you may need. Get an International Driving Permit (IDP). Carry the IDP and a US-issued driver's license at all times.
  • Check with your auto insurance policy's international coverage, and get more coverage if needed. Make sure you have liability insurance.
  • Avoid using local, unscheduled aircraft.
  • If possible, fly on larger planes (more than 30 seats); larger airplanes are more likely to have regular safety inspections.
  • Try to schedule flights during daylight hours and in good weather.

Medical Evacuation Insurance

If you are seriously injured, emergency care may not be available or may not meet US standards. Trauma care centers are uncommon outside urban areas. Having medical evacuation insurance can be helpful for these reasons.

Helpful Resources

Road Safety Overseas (Information from the US Department of State): Includes tips on driving in other countries, International Driving Permits, auto insurance, and other resources.

The Association for International Road Travel has country-specific Road Travel Reports available for most countries for a minimal fee.

Maintain personal security

Use the same common sense traveling overseas that you would at home, and always stay alert and aware of your surroundings.

Before you leave

  • Research your destination(s), including local laws, customs, and culture.
  • Monitor travel advisories and alerts and read travel tips from the US Department of State.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) .
  • Leave a copy of your itinerary, contact information, credit cards, and passport with someone at home.
  • Pack as light as possible, and leave at home any item you could not replace.

While at your destination(s)

  • Carry contact information for the nearest US embassy or consulate .
  • Carry a photocopy of your passport and entry stamp; leave the actual passport securely in your hotel.
  • Follow all local laws and social customs.
  • Do not wear expensive clothing or jewelry.
  • Always keep hotel doors locked, and store valuables in secure areas.
  • If possible, choose hotel rooms between the 2nd and 6th floors.

Healthy Travel Packing List

Use the Healthy Travel Packing List for Qatar for a list of health-related items to consider packing for your trip. Talk to your doctor about which items are most important for you.

Why does CDC recommend packing these health-related items?

It’s best to be prepared to prevent and treat common illnesses and injuries. Some supplies and medicines may be difficult to find at your destination, may have different names, or may have different ingredients than what you normally use.

If you are not feeling well after your trip, you may need to see a doctor. If you need help finding a travel medicine specialist, see Find a Clinic . Be sure to tell your doctor about your travel, including where you went and what you did on your trip. Also tell your doctor if you were bitten or scratched by an animal while traveling.

For more information on what to do if you are sick after your trip, see Getting Sick after Travel .

Map Disclaimer - The boundaries and names shown and the designations used on maps do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. Approximate border lines for which there may not yet be full agreement are generally marked.

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Qatar World Cup 2022

What are Qatar’s COVID, travel requirements for World Cup 2022?

Visitors no longer need a negative COVID test or download the Ehteraz app.

Al Thumama Stadium

Football fans travelling to Qatar for the World Cup will no longer need to present negative COVID tests and preregister on a government app to enter the country.

The Qatari government has cancelled the majority of travel restrictions related to COVID-19 ahead of the start of the World Cup that kicks off on November 20.

Keep reading

Qatar timeline: from winning the world cup bid in 2010 to now, qatar emir slams ‘ferocious’ campaign against world cup host, how qatar is planning to ensure security at world cup 2022, gcc condemns german minister’s remarks on qatar world cup 2022.

From November 1, travellers no longer need to present a negative COVID-19 PCR or Rapid Antigen tests to enter the country.

Visitors entering Qatar are not required to preregister on the government’s Ehteraz health application before their arrival.

A green health status on Ehteraz is now required only to access the country’s health facilities.

A COVID vaccination certificate is also no longer required to enter Qatar.

The arriving fans, players, officials, staff and media are by far the biggest influx of visitors seen in Qatar, which has a population of approximately 2.9 million.

Qatari citizens and residents also no longer need to take a PCR or rapid antigen test within 24 hours of returning from abroad, the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) said.

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

Qatari organisers and football’s governing body, FIFA, have said they want the event to be a sign the world is getting over the devastating pandemic.

But MoPH has previously warned that special measures would be ordered “in the event of a worsening pandemic situation in the country”, such as the emergence of a threatening new variant.

Players and match officials may be forced into a secure “bio-bubble” if COVID cases take off again, with the threat of expulsion from the tournament for those who breach the secure environment, the ministry said last month.

A requirement to wear masks on public transport was scrapped in October and masks are also not compulsory inside the eight World Cup stadiums.

Middle East GCC

  • Iran English ایران فارسی
  • Iraq English العراق العربيّة
  • Jordan English الأردن العربيّة
  • Kuwait English الكويت العربيّة
  • Lebanon English لبنان العربيّة Liban Français
  • Oman English عُمان العربيّة
  • Qatar English قطر العربيّة
  • Saudi Arabia English المملكة العربِيّة السعودية العربِيّة
  • United Arab Emirates English الإمارات العربِيّة المتحدة العربِيّة
  • Bahrain English البحرين العربية

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This information is provided by Qatar Airways as a courtesy, and although updated regularly, we recommended you frequently check back due to the rapid changes in travel conditions, and that you verify travel and entry requirements through independent enquiries before your trip.

COVID-19 test and travel requirement update

The safety, security and good health of our passengers and employees is our highest priority.

Qatar Airways is working closely with global and national authorities to implement the latest advice and guidance on COVID-19 (coronavirus) and operate our services accordingly.  

Effective from 16 July 2021: Based on the latest updates from the local authorities, all passengers departing from Ho Chi Minh city are required to have a valid negative COVID test certificate & in addition must meet your destination COVID test requirements.  Please prepare your COVID test certificate accordingly. 

Currently the local authorities only require negative COVID test certificate for passengers departing from Ho Chi Minh City. We will update if the requirement open wider for passengers departing from Hanoi.

Qatar Airways currently operates weekly schedule from Vietnam for both Outbound & Inbound as normal.

Should you have any queries, please contact our call center at 028 38273 888

or email: [email protected] for further assistance.

Special Offer*: COVID-19 Test for Travellers

Qatar Airways's passengers can take the COVID-19 PCR test at any of approved hospitals ( click here for the full list ) or alternatively,  Qatar Airways’ flight ticket holders can receive special discount offers from hospital partners for the COVID-19 PCR Test required for international travel. 

Passengers can show the flight ticket upon arrival at the hospitals to get the discount. The partnered hospitals are listed as below. We are working with more partners and will update the partner list accordingly.

  • Raffles Medical Center s
  • Hanoi French Hospital

*The offer is subject to change without prior notice. Please check directly with the listed hospitals.

COVID-19 update & travel requirements

For more information about travel requirement about COVID-19 update, please click on the below to learn more.

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Short Wave

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Your support helps make our show possible and unlocks access to our sponsor-free feed.

It's respiratory virus season. Here's what to know about the winter 'tripledemic'

Pien Huang

Margaret Cirino

Rebecca Ramirez, photographed for NPR, 6 June 2022, in Washington DC. Photo by Farrah Skeiky for NPR.

Rebecca Ramirez

Regina Barber, photographed for NPR, 6 June 2022, in Washington DC. Photo by Farrah Skeiky for NPR.

Regina G. Barber

A schoolboy shows a positive Covid-19 test.

Winter is upon us – and with the holiday travel and time spent indoors comes a triple threat of respiratory diseases: RSV, flu and COVID-19. Most of the country has been experiencing high or very high respiratory virus levels, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There's also a new COVID-19 variant: JN.1, which is responsible for over 60% of the COVID-19 cases from early January. This new variant, coupled with the fact that only about 1 in 5 people have received a COVID booster, could be the reason why COVID-19 levels are even higher this winter than they were last winter.

But there are some bright spots, according to NPR health correspondent Pien Huang . Meaningful metrics like hospitalizations and deaths are lower compared to last year. And luckily, hospital capacity has remained stable for most of the season – meaning people with severe cases of respiratory viruses can get help a little more quickly.

Want to hear about another health story making headlines? Email us about it at [email protected] — we might cover it on a future episode!

Listen to Short Wave on Spotify , Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts .

This episode was produced by Margaret Cirino and edited by Rebecca Ramirez. Pien Huang reported this episode and checked the facts. The audio engineer was David Greenburg.

  • tripledemic

We’re In a Major COVID-19 Surge. It’s Our New Normal

A person wears their mask dangling off an ear during the 2024 COVID-19 surge.

Y ou probably know a lot of sick people right now . Most parts of the U.S. are getting pummeled by respiratory illness , with 7% of all outpatient health care visits recorded during the week ending Dec. 30 related to these sicknesses, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Many people are sick with flu, while others have RSV or other routine winter viruses . But COVID-19 is also tearing through the population, thanks largely to the highly contagious JN.1 variant . Just like every year since 2021, this one is starting with a COVID-19 surge—and Americans are getting a good glimpse of what their “new normal” may look like, says Katelyn Jetelina, the epidemiologist who writes the Your Local Epidemiologist newsletter.

“Unfortunately,” she says, “signs are pointing to this [being] the level of disruption and disease we’re going to be faced with in years to come.”

The CDC no longer tracks COVID-19 case counts, which makes it harder than it once was to say exactly how widely the virus is spreading. Monitoring the amount of virus detected in wastewater , while not a perfect proxy for case counts, is probably the best real-time signal currently available—and right now, that signal is a screaming red siren. According to some analyses , wastewater data suggest the current surge is second in size only to the monstrous first wave of Omicron, which peaked in early 2022. By some estimates , more than a million people in the U.S. may be newly infected every single day at the peak of this wave.

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Wastewater isn’t the only sign that things are bad. Almost 35,000 people in the U.S. were hospitalized with COVID-19 during the week ending Dec. 30—far fewer than were admitted at the height of the first Omicron wave, but a 20% increase over the prior week in 2023. Deaths tend to lag a few weeks behind hospitalizations, but already, about 1,000 people in the U.S. are dying each week from COVID-19.

Yet even as the trends veer in the wrong direction, people are still working in offices, going to school, eating in restaurants, and sitting shoulder-to-shoulder in movie theaters, largely unmasked. It can be hard to know how to feel about that reality. Viewed through a 2020 lens, many people would consider it catastrophically concerning that people are living normally even as COVID-19 sickens the equivalent of an entire city’s population every single day. But is it as worrisome in 2024, when the pandemic is over on paper, if not in practice ?

Not according to Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health and the Biden Administration’s former COVID-19 response coordinator. Almost all of the U.S. population has some immunity from previous infections or vaccinations; treatments like the antiviral Paxlovid are available for people at risk of severe disease; and most people know the basics of masking, testing, and other mitigation measures. All of these factors, Jha says, mean COVID-19 is becoming less of a threat over time. Some groups of people, including the elderly and immunocompromised, are still at greater risk than others, and Long COVID —the name for potentially debilitating chronic symptoms that sometimes follow a case of COVID-19—remains a possibility for everyone. But Jha maintains that vaccines and treatments should make everyone feel safer.

“The straight facts are: COVID is not gone, it’s not irrelevant, but it’s not the risk it was four years ago, or even two years ago,” Jha says. “It’s totally reasonable for people to go back to living their lives.”

The big challenge now, says Dr. Robert Wachter, chair of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, is wrapping our heads around that change. “We’ve got to somehow reprogram our minds to think about this as a threat that is just not as profound as it was for a couple years,” Wachter says. “When your minds have been pickled in terror for a couple of years, it’s very hard to do."

How to assess COVID-19 risk in 2024

In the earlier days of the pandemic, Wachter closely watched the COVID-19 data and used exact numbers and percentages to decide what he felt comfortable doing. Now, with fewer of those precise numbers and more disease-fighting tools available, he goes by trends.

During COVID-19 lulls, “I’m living my life about as normally as I did in 2019,” Wachter says. Once indicators like COVID-19 hospitalizations and wastewater surveillance data start to suggest the virus is on the upswing, he wears a KN95 mask in crowded places like airports and theaters, where there’s little downside to masking. And in a full-blown surge, like now, Wachter masks almost everywhere and avoids some places he can’t, such as restaurants.

Those decisions feel right to Wachter, based on his personal risk tolerance and vulnerability to severe disease. He’s up-to-date on vaccines, which slashes his chances of being hospitalized or dying if he gets infected—but, at 66, those outcomes are still likelier for him than for his 30-year-old children. “Other people might make different choices,” Wachter says. “And there are going to be people who say, ‘This is a lot of mental energy...screw it.’”

With hard numbers scarcer than they once were and lots of people no longer willing or able to make detailed risk assessments, Jetelina instead recommends letting your objectives shape your behavior. Want to avoid infecting your grandmother before a visit? Maybe skip having dinner in a crowded restaurant a few days before and test before you go to her house. Want to minimize your risk of getting very sick if you do get infected? Stay up-to-date on boosters—as far too few people do, says Dr. Peter Hotez, co-director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development.

“The biggest failing right now in our response to COVID,” Hotez says, is that only about 20% of U.S. adults got the latest vaccine , which was updated to target newer viral variants . “That should be the number-one priority,” he says, since vaccination is the best way to prevent complications like hospitalization, death, and, to some degree, Long COVID.

The risks that don’t go away

Even with boosters, Jetelina says Long COVID is a hard risk to plan around. The only tried-and-true way to avoid it is to avoid infection entirely; staying up-to-date on vaccines reduces the risk by up to 70%, according to recent research , but people can and do develop it even if they’re healthy, fully vaccinated , and have had previous infections without incident. With variants as contagious as JN.1 running rampant, doing almost anything in public opens up the possibility of getting sick.

But there are plenty of choices between ignoring the virus entirely and completely locking down at home, says Hannah Davis, one of the leaders of the Patient-Led Research Collaborative for Long COVID. She recommends wearing good-quality masks in public, socializing outside or using open windows and air filters to improve ventilation inside, asking people to test before gatherings, and avoiding especially crowded places during surges. “I wish more of those were normalized, because they do at least decrease the chance of getting infected and causing long-term harm and disability to yourself or other people,” she says.

But, Davis says, all responsibility shouldn’t fall on individuals. She says it’s a “huge injustice” that the government hasn’t done more to warn the public that people can still get Long COVID, and that reinfections can lead to serious health issues . She also feels the data support policy measures like ventilation requirements for public places and mask mandates on public transportation.

The unclear future of COVID-19

Some mask mandates in health care facilities and nursing homes have been reinstated during this surge. But Jha says widespread mandates are unlikely to come back—and in his view, they shouldn’t. “There was a role for mandates in the early days of the pandemic…when we had no other tools, no way of protecting people,” he says. “Mandates four years in, when we have plenty of tests, plenty of vaccines, plenty of treatments, plenty of masks,” are not as crucial, he says.

Jetelina says she wouldn’t be surprised if 2024 brings a further relaxation of COVID-19 guidance rather than increased mitigation measures. She speculates that the CDC may change its isolation guidelines , for example.

“The threat [of COVID-19] will get baked into the other threats people have in their background that aren’t front of mind,” Wachter predicts, similar to the ever-present risk of getting sick with other illnesses or getting into a car accident. And, “as long as the virus doesn’t shape-shift its way into laughing at our immune status,” he says that’s not such a bad thing. People will continue to reach different conclusions about the level of risk-taking they can stomach and behave accordingly, just as they do in other areas of life.

It’s natural for guidance and behavior to change once a public-health menace begins to transition from emergency to endemic , Jha says. But that doesn’t mean we should turn a blind eye toward COVID-19 or the numerous other pathogens swirling around.

"For a lot of people it's been about, 'How do we go back to 2019, to life before the pandemic?'" he says. But, in his view, that's not the right goal: "We actually want to look forward."

Jha says he’s hopeful that lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic will spark a reimagining of how we deal with respiratory diseases in general. Such an approach wouldn’t necessarily single out COVID-19, as much of the public-health messaging has done since 2020. Instead, Jha says, it could standardize and broaden guidance around all infectious diseases, hammering home the importance of things like vaccines, masks, ventilation, and sick-leave policies that allow people to stay home when they have any disease—not just the one that has dominated our collective consciousness for the past four years.

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Nottinghamshire Live

Spain travel rules for 2024 - including passports, visas and Covid restrictions

U K families planning a holiday to Spain this summer need to be aware of certain entry requirements and local rules. Spain, a favourite destination for British tourists, has seen the UK Foreign Office update its travel advice following changes in Spanish face mask rules, Birmingham Live reports .

The Spanish government now requires face masks to be worn in hospitals and healthcare centres due to a rise in respiratory illnesses. The updated advice states: "Due to an increase in respiratory infections such as flu and coronavirus > Covid , you may be required to wear a face mask when using healthcare facilities such as doctors surgeries, hospitals or pharmacies. Specific rules on the use of face masks may vary by region.

It also advises travellers to follow local authority advice at their destination.

If you're planning a holiday to Spain this year, make sure your passport is valid before you fly. You need to check two dates on the photo page. Since Brexit, Brits need a passport that's valid for at least three months after the day they plan to leave.

Also, ensure your passport was issued no more than ten years before the date you'll enter Spain. If it's older than ten years, you might not be allowed to board your flight.

UK residents can travel to countries in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa. This applies if you're going as a tourist, visiting family or friends, attending business meetings, cultural or sports events, or for short-term studies or training.

If you enter or exit the Shengen area through Spain, make sure your passport is stamped. Border guards will check this to ensure travellers are complying with the 90-day rule. If you've run out of blank pages in your passport, you'll need to renew it because it should be stamped when you enter and exit the area.

While Spain has brought back face mask rules in some places, there's no sign of this extending to hotels or eateries.

Travel restrictions due to Covid-19 have been lifted, so you don't need to worry about your jab status or tests.

You might need to show some extra documents when you enter the Schengen zone for a holiday. This could include proof that you've got enough money for your stay, or where you're staying.

In Spain, there are local laws about things like drinking in public, what you can wear and smoking. If you break these rules, you might get fined.

Each beach in Spain is looked after by its own local council, so the rules can change depending on where you are. For example, in some places like Benidorm, you're not allowed to walk around in just your swimwear.

Several areas, including Galicia and Murcia, have made their beaches smoke-free. If you're caught smoking on a Barcelona beach, you could be fined 30 euros. Some local councils only allow smoking, vaping and drinking alcohol in specific areas. Drinking alcohol on the beach in Benidorm could lead to a hefty fine of 750 euros.

* An AI tool was used to add an extra layer to the editing process for this story.

BENIDORM, SPAIN - JULY 23: Bathers enjoying the beach on general election day on July 23, 2023 in Benidorm, Spain. Voters in Spain head to the polls on July 23 to cast their votes and elect Spain's next government. (Photo by Zowy Voeten/Getty Images)

Better prices but additional requirements? What travelers should expect this year.

If you're planning to travel somewhere in 2024, you probably have lots of questions. Like, how much will it cost? Is it safe? Are there places I should avoid? Should I just stay home?

And chances are, you've probably heard a lot of answers in the last few days. It's hard to miss the talking heads on TV who sound so sure of themselves. But the truth is, no one has any idea what will really happen for the most part.

Check out   Elliott Confidential , the newsletter the travel industry doesn't want you to read. Each issue is filled with breaking news, deep insights, and exclusive strategies for becoming a better traveler. But don't tell anyone!

So what do we know? We have a pretty good idea of travel prices (they'll be mixed, but generally affordable). We also know that some major new travel requirements have been delayed, but not for long. We know travel can be risky and that there are some places you should absolutely avoid in 2024.

The rest is pure conjecture – but oh boy, is it ever fun.

Learn more: Best travel insurance

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What we know about travel in 2024

Forecasts that are based on hard data like advance bookings or future contracts are fairly reliable. So here's what we know about travel prices in 2024:

◾ Domestic airfares will fall. Airfares will slide 16% this year compared to 2023 for U.S. flights, according to Kayak . The average round-trip ticket will cost $461. Internationally, fares will rise 10% from last year.

◾ Car rental rates will climb. American Express projects car rental prices will increase by 5% this year in the U.S. and Canada. But some destinations, such as Mexico and Chile, won't see any change in prices.

◾ Fuel prices will drop. Gas prices will slide almost 5%, to an average of $3.36 in 2024, according to projections from the U.S. Energy Information Administration . That should make spring break and summer driving trips more affordable.

◾ Hotel rates will rise. Lodging rates will increase almost 7% on average in 2024, according to research by BCD Travel. But it will vary by city and time of year.

Overall, travel should be affordable in 2024, barring any big surprises. But it depends on where you go and when you go. 

If you're traveling to Europe, you could spend $8 a gallon on gas. And don't even think about getting an affordable hotel room in Paris this July. Average hotel rates during the Olympic Games are up from $187 a night to $764, according to the Paris Tourist Office.

Coming soon: new travel requirements

It looked like 2024 would be a big year for new travel requirements. But some of those have been postponed. 

◾ No Europe travel authorization for U.S. travelers. Europe's ETIAS travel authorization , a new entry requirement for visa-exempt people traveling Europe, was supposed to launch this year. Authorities have delayed it until 2025. Some observers say it won't be in place until mid-2025.

◾ But mind Europe's new Entry/Exit System (EES). The new system , which collects biometric information on travelers, could slow down your next airport transit. You'll want to give yourself a little extra time when leaving from a European airport so you won't miss your flight.

◾ You can still fly domestically with your old ID. The TSA's requirement that your driver's license or other state photo ID meet the new REAL ID standards has been extended to mid-2025. But this may be the year to get one of the new IDs.

Still, some countries are implementing new travel requirements in 2024, so make sure you check before you leave. For example, you'll need a visa to enter Brazil after January 10 . There's an option for an e-visa for qualified applicants. Don't wait until the last minute to make arrangements. 

What do guests really want? Hotels are advertising 'perks' that used to be a given

Don't lose track: Why luggage trackers don't prevent your bags from getting lost

Travel will be safer and cheaper – except here

The experts may want you to think that travel hasn't been this safe and affordable since the pandemic. But they probably say that because they want you to book more travel in 2024.

If you're traveling domestically, you'll probably want to steer clear of the political conventions this summer in Milwaukee and Chicago. Paris in summer is also a no-go (wait until fall for prices to come back down). Plus, there are big holidays around the world, like Diwali, Eid and Christmas, which reliably translate into huge crowds and high rates.

And as for safety – sure, visiting your closest national park in 2024 will be a pretty safe bet. But the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the Hamas-Israel conflict show no sign of ending any time soon, and it wouldn't surprise me to see another major conflict or two next year. 

All the more reason to study those State Department advisories before you book – and to consider buying a comprehensive travel insurance policy from a reputable company.

What we want: Hotels should get rid of these things now – and here's what they should add

Can I sleep on the airport floor? Survival strategies for very long delays

And here's what could happen to travel in 2024

Now comes the fun part, which is making informed predictions about next year. 

◾ Artificial intelligence will change the way you travel : I'm probably not the first person to say this, and I know I won't be the last. However, most of the travel industry has been focused on AI as a travel planning tool. Here's the space to watch: For years, travel companies have been using AI to squeeze the most money out of you using programs that predict demand and set prices. The latest AI promises to turn the tables on that equation. In 2024, travelers could use AI to help them find the lowest rates and the best times to book – and it could save them billions of dollars collectively.  

◾ More airlines will merge: The merger between Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines, announced late last year, took almost everyone by surprise. I don't think we're done. There's still the pending merger between JetBlue Airways and Spirit Airlines, which will be decided by a court in early 2024. Something tells me there will be more airline mergers in 2024, if not in the United States, then abroad. Buying a competitor, laying off employees and raising prices is just too tempting for the average airline CEO to resist. Passengers have two choices. Either complain to government regulators and ask them to stop these anticompetitive mergers, or accept the higher fares and reduced service.

◾ Travel fees will increase : Alaska Airlines has already raised its checked baggage fees from $30 to $35, effective Jan. 2. A second bag will cost $45, a $5 increase. Other domestic airlines are certain to follow. And it's not just airlines. Hotels will quietly increase their mandatory "resort" fees this year unless the government adopts a new rule limiting these junk fees, which it is considering. Fees like these are found money for the hotel. The actual cost of providing the service is often close to zero. So it's all just a clever way of raising prices.

This is shaping up to be one of the most interesting years to travel, but let's not mince words. Despite the affordable prices, you'll find more fees, new rules – and danger. Now more than ever, you'll have to deploy the latest technology to stay safe and avoid rip-offs. 

Oh, and don't forget to have fun. I'll see you out there.

Christopher Elliott  is an author, consumer advocate, and journalist. He founded  Elliott Advocacy , a nonprofit organization that helps solve consumer problems. He publishes  Elliott Confidential , a travel newsletter, and the  Elliott Report , a news site about customer service. If you need help with a consumer problem, you can  reach him here  or email him at  [email protected] .


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    Qatar Airways's passengers can take the COVID-19 PCR test at any of approved hospitals (click here for the full list) or alternatively, Qatar Airways' flight ticket holders can receive special discount offers from hospital partners for the COVID-19 PCR Test required for international travel.Passengers can show the flight ticket upon arrival at the hospitals to get the discount.

  23. What California's new COVID isolation rules mean for you

    The state now defines an infectious period during which a person with COVID-19 must isolate as a minimum of 24 hours from the day that symptoms began. So long a person has not had a fever for at ...

  24. The CDC's winter guidelines for COVID-19, Flu and RSV

    Winter is upon us - and with the holiday travel and time spent indoors comes a triple threat of respiratory diseases: RSV, flu and COVID-19. Most of the country has been experiencing high or ...

  25. We're In a Major COVID-19 Surge. It's Our New Normal

    Almost 35,000 people in the U.S. were hospitalized with COVID-19 during the week ending Dec. 30—far fewer than were admitted at the height of the first Omicron wave, but a 20% increase over the ...

  26. Spain travel rules for 2024

    Specific rules on the use of face masks may vary by region. ... Travel restrictions due to Covid-19 have been lifted, so you don't need to worry about your jab status or tests.

  27. Foreign visitor numbers yet to reach China's pre-pandemic levels, data

    12 months after strict Covid-19 border controls were lifted, overseas tourists and residents are being tempted with relaxed visa rules. ... Inbound and outbound travel by foreigners in 2023 grew ...

  28. What to know about travel in 2024: More requirements, safer trips?

    That should make spring break and summer driving trips more affordable. Hotel rates will rise. Lodging rates will increase almost 7% on average in 2024, according to research by BCD Travel. But it ...

  29. China relaxes visa rules further to boost tourism, business travel as

    China has issued a basket of new policies to further relax entry and visa procedures, including transit rules and extensions of stay for foreign nationals. The latest step in China's bid to draw ...