21 September Thursday

Only vaccinated fans allowed at World Cup 2022: Qatar

Anas YassinUpdated: Tuesday Jun 22, 2021

Manama: Qatar has announced that only people who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus will be allowed to attend next year's World Cup. The country has begun efforts to secure 10 lakhs doses of vaccines in order to inoculate non-vaccinated fans coming to the nation.

In a meeting with national newspaper’s editors, Prime Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani said that while most countries were expected to have vaccinated their citizens by then, Qatar was still taking measures to ensure a successful tournament.

 “Due to the possibility that some countries will not be able to vaccinate all their citizens, Qatar will not allow fans to enter stadiums without receiving a full vaccination against the virus,” Sheikh Khalid was quoted as saying by state media on Sunday.

Therefore, the Gulf Arab state was currently negotiating with a company to provide 10 lakhs doses of COVID-19 vaccines in order to inoculate non-vaccinated people coming to Qatar for watching World Cup, the Prime Minister said. The country’s primary goal was to protect the health of citizens and residents as well as the attending fans, he added.

Qatar will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup from November 21 to December 18 to avoid the harsh Middle East summer.

Authorities had earlier said they hoped to organise a covid-free tournament and planned to make vaccinations available to attendees not already immunized.

On April 16, Qatar Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani announced that the country was in talks with coronavirus vaccine makers to ensure all fans attending the 2022 World Cup in the country have been vaccinated.

Qatar has only reported 585 deaths and 2,20,800 cases from the pandemic.

The country is vaccinating its citizens and expats with the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. It has administered at least 2.8 million doses, enough to inoculate about 50.8% of its population, according to a Reuters COVID-19 tracker.