by Donald Wood
Last updated: 9:52 AM ET, Fri October 28, 2022
Health officials in Qatar announced coronavirus-related testing requirements would be lifted ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
According to The Japan Times, Qatar will drop the pre-arrival testing measures on November 1, just weeks before the international soccer showcase kicks off on November 20. The country announced earlier this month that incoming fans do not need vaccinations.
Government officials also revealed that while players, officials, staff, media and ticket holders must present the mandatory "Hayya card," mask will no longer be required on public transportation or in the eight World Cup stadiums.
"Visitors (to the World Cup) are no longer required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR or Rapid Antigen Test result before traveling to Qatar," the country's health ministry said in a statement.
While Qatar is lifting restrictions, the health ministry said that special measures would be ordered "in the event of a worsening pandemic situation in the country."
If the number of confirmed coronavirus cases begins to rise at an alarming rate, the players and match officials will be moved into a secure "bio-bubble," with anyone who fails to follow the rules likely to be expelled from the country.
Last month, Qatar warned all visitors coming into the country for the World Cup that it has enacted a ban on bringing alcohol into the country for personal consumption. Officials said they would take "specific measures" against people trying to sneak alcohol into the country in their luggage at the airport.
In addition, the Saudi Tourism Authority announced that those with the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Hayya Card would be able to enter Saudi Arabia and obtain a visa free of charge as an effort to inspire travelers to explore the neighboring country.
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