In response to the growing threat of the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus, the Ministry of Public Health has updated the country’s travel policies beginning January 1st. In particular, the country lists have been updated based on the risks that they pose to the State. These amendments to the Travel and Return Policy will begin at 7pm on January 1st, 2022.
For instance, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Namibia, Egypt, Lesotho, India, Botswana, Nepal and Pakistan are now in the High Risk List or Exceptional Red List Countries. Meanwhile, the Red List now has 47 countries, which rose from 23. The Green List, on the other hand, contains 153 countries.
“With the number of new daily Covid-19 cases increasing in recent weeks and the detection of Omicron in Qatar, it is more important than ever to wear a face mask as per the current MoPH policy to protect yourself and those around you,” tweets the Ministry of Public Health.
In other news, citizens are urged to wear their face masks when necessary as indicated in the MOPH’s public advisory. In particular, certain indoor settings such as malls, schools, mosques, public transport, and places of work require that wearing a mask is absolutely mandatory. This also includes private indoor gatherings such as funerals, weddings, majlises, and even social visits.
When it comes to outdoor activities, wearing a mask in public is not mandatory in open-air situations, with the strict exception of public activities in exhibitions, markets and events. Mask-wearing also includes schools campuses, university campuses, mosques, and hospitals. Masks are also mandatory even if you are in open-air locations if your work requires you to have contact with clients, waiters and security personnel.
Even if you are outdoors, you should also wear a mask if you cannot maintain a safe physical distance from other people, as well as if you are unvaccinated or if you are in the company of unvaccinated people. You should also wear a mask if you are immunocompromised or more vulnerable despite being vaccinated.
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