Doha, 15 March 2020 (Govt Communication)
Amir of State of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al -Thani has directed the State’s officials to provide the necessary services to citizens and residents, foremost to provide safety and protection from the new Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and to ensure continuing their normal life.
Amir of Qatar presided this morning meeting of the Supreme Committee for Crisis Management at the National Command Centre (NCC) to combat Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). They also reviewed the situation in the country and the epidemic impact on Qatar. to determine the efforts made by the competent authorities in the State to prevent this epidemic , as the authorities presented to the Amir “the national executive plan to confront the new Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
Amir of Qatar stressed the importance of the contribution of all State’s departments, including public and private sector, by the competent authorities and the nationals as well as residents of Qatar in order to prevent from the epidemic. He reminded the social responsibility in such circumstances, and that all citizens and residents do their duty to reduce its spread, by applying the preventive measures recommended by the Ministry of Public Health.
Present on the occasion were Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al -Thani, also as the Chairman of the Supreme Committee for Crisis Management, and members of the Committee, including ministers and concerned senior officials.
As part of the precautionary measures taken by the State of Qatar to limit the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), and as an extension to previous decisions on suspending travel from designated countries, it has been decided to suspend visa on arrival from a number of European countries, effective 15 March and until further notice.
The decision includes suspending entry for citizens of Italy, France, Germany and Spain, as well as all others traveling from these countries. Individuals intending to travel from these four countries who are in possession of a Qatar residence permit are excluded from this decision, provided that they stay in a quarantine facility for 14 days as per the local procedures.
It has also been decided to temporarily suspend entry to the State of Qatar from the Republic of Sudan. This restriction includes those who are in possession of visa on arrival or a Qatar residence permit.
The State of Qatar continues to urge citizens and residents to avoid all but essential travel at this time.
These precautionary measures may be subject to further updates based on the latest guidance of the national health authorities and international organisations regarding the spread of COVID-19, in order to ensure the safety of all residents of the State of Qatar.
Amir of Qatar issued the following directions and procedures :
- Suspension of incoming flights to Qatar and public transportation: Buses & Metro will stop operating from tonight 1000 PM until further notice and incoming flight are suspended from Wednesday, March 18th, for 14 days
- Eligible people to work from home: Anyone older than 55 years old, pregnant women and people with chronic disease or illness are eligible to work from home.
- Qatari students located outside the country: we advise them to adhere to the policies in place in the country of study with the readiness of the country’s embassies to provide any of the necessary services, including facilitating the procedures for return to the State of Qatar if the need arises.
- Public schools: will start e-learning on March 22, 2020. Students from grades one to eleven will be subject to the continuous evaluation system. As for the twelfth-grade students, they will undergo high school exams on time and at the exams headquarters, which will be announced later. As for students of private schools and universities, they will start studying remotely according to the academic calendar and the evaluation systems approved for them.
H.H. the Amir also directed a number of financial and economic packages:
- to support and provide financial and economic incentives amounting to 75 billion Qatari riyals to the private sector.
- the Central Bank to put in place the appropriate mechanism to encourage banks to postpone loan installments and obligations of the private sector with a grace period of six months.
- directing the Qatar Development Bank to postpone the installments of all borrowers for a period of six months.
- Directing government funds to increase their investments in the stock exchange by 10 billion riyals.
- The Central Bank to provide additional liquidity to banks operating in the country
- Exempting food and medical goods from customs duties for a period of six months, provided that this is reflected in the selling price to the consumer.
- 6-month of rent relief for industrial facilities
- Exempting the following sectors from electricity and water fees for a period of six months: Hospitality and tourism sector, Retail sector, Small and medium industries sector, Commercial complexes in exchange for providing services and exemptions to tenants, Logistics areas