Qatar drops coronavirus restrictions just before World Cup start
In a bid to prepare for Qatar’s 2022 World Cup, which begins on May 26, the country has been ordered to stay away from a group of popular tourist destinations ahead of the tournament.
Bassar Al-Sudani, Qatar’s minister of health, said on Monday that those who had visited or worked in the areas were asked to stay at home for two weeks.
Qatar’s government wants to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, which originated in China and first affected humans in the city of Wuhan in the country’s capital, on to its population.
With the country due to host the 2022 tournament, its government had put in place the measures to “limit infection.”
The ban will be in place from May 10 to May 20 and will include travel in to the capital Doha and the Al-Ain district.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has repeatedly urged nations to avoid large sporting events, saying a significant increase in infectious disease cases could result from large public gatherings
Al-Sudani said the measures were “a precautionary measure” to “prevent the spread of coronavirus to Qatar and to society” and it was “not an excuse for people not to go to Qatar.”
“I hope that the decision of the decision to limit public travel in the next two weeks will help people not to spread this disease,” he added.
Those who want to travel to Qatar during the restrictions should contact their embassy or consular department, he added.
However Qatar’s government, known for its lavish spending on sport and cultural events, has said that the measures were not intended to target the football fans or the fans of other events in Doha.
The ruling Al-Thani dynasty, which has ruled Qatar since 1971, has given a significant amount to the World Cup in recent years, with the government pledging to