Health information

Prevention is key to protecting ourselves and our loved ones. Below are some strategies for minimising your risk of catching or transmitting the virus. We also outline some common myths and misconceptions and offer some advice for staying fit and healthy while self-isolating.

Your Health First

WCM-Q's flagship health campaign, Sahtak Awalan - Your Health First has always cared about the health of the community. This short film summarises all you need to know in just one minute.

Information about the COVID-19 vaccine program in Qatar

Several vaccines have been developed to protect against COVID-19 and are in the process of being delivered to people around the world. 

The MOPH has approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use and plans to provide the COVID-19 vaccine free of charge to all Qatar citizens and residents. Certain population groups will receive the vaccine first because they are at higher risk. The three priority population groups are: older people, people with certain chronic conditions and key healthcare workers. For full details about the COVID-19 vaccination program in Qatar, click here.

Citizens and residents of Qatar can register for the COVID-19 vaccination here.

Even with the benefit of effective vaccines, it remains important to limit the spread of the virus as much as possile by following everyday preventive actions, like avoiding close contact with people who are sick and washing your hands often.

Thoroughly clean your hands

Wash your hands regularly: Run your hands under water and soap up—fronts and backs, between fingers, under nails— for 20 seconds, or the time it takes to sing two verses Happy Birthday. Rinse, then grab a clean towel and use it to turn off the tap. If there are no washing facilities then use hand sanitizer—60 percent alcohol is most effective—and rub it in for about 20 seconds. Press elevator buttons and turn on light switches with knuckles, not fingers. Instead of shaking hands, knock elbows.

For more COVID-19 cleanliness tips, click here.

Wear a mask in public

The Government of Qatar has made it mandatory for all citizens and residents to wear a face mask in public in order to minimize the risk of transmission of the coronavirus. However, since June 4 it is not mandatory to wear a face mask when exercising/participating in sports in public places. 

It is recommended to wash your hands thoroughly before putting on your face mask, to use disposable masks only once before disposing of them safely and to wash reusable masks with detergent on a regular basis. 

More information and guidance on the correct use of face masks can be found on the MOPH COVID-19 website here.

Other useful links:

Face mask FAQs

WHO advice on the use of masks

Have the Ehteraz app on your phone

It is mandatory for all citizens and residents in Qatar to download and install the Ehteraz smartphone application on their phone and to have the application activated when outside of the home. The application can be downloaded via the following links:

App Store

Google Play

Disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects

Disinfect surfaces and objects like taps, doorknobs, phones and keyboards with regular household cleaning spray or wipes designated to eliminate common viruses. Use wipes after touching surfaces in public places like stores and gyms.

Keep your hands away from your face and practice good hygiene

Picture your eyes, mouth and nose as viral gateways to your lungs. Use tissues to blow your nose, sneeze or cough, then throw them away. If you run out of tissues, cough in your elbow. And when possible, avoid people who are sick.

Disinfect your groceries

After returning from the store, some experts are recommending that shopping bags are disinfected and that fruit and vegetables are well rinsed. Tins and packaging can also be disinfected with a spray but do remember that the cooking process will kill the virus. Perhaps the most important tactic to remember when returning from the grocery store is to WASH YOUR HANDS.

Your Health First - Sahtak Awalan advice on safe grocery shopping 

Travel advice

It is recommended to avoid all non-essential travel possible locally and abroad. See the map in the link below to assess the current situation worldwide: COVID-19 Travel Recommendations by Country

As part of the gradual lifting of measures imposed in the State of Qatar, travel restrictions for citizens and residents have been updated, with the new guidelines coming into force on August 1, 2020. 

Travel restrictions differ depending on the COVID-19 risk status of the country the traveller will be returning from. Travellers returning to Doha are required to undertake a quarantine period of between seven and 14 days, either at home or at a designated hotel, depending on which country they have visited. Returning travellers are also required to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival at Doha's Hamad International Airport, plus a second test six days after their arrival. 

Full details of Qatar's travel policy, quarantine rules, and a list of low-risk countries can be found on the Ministry of Public Health's COVID-19 website by following the links below:

Qatar Travel Policy 

Low-risk Countries 

Reintroduction of COVID-19 restrictions from February 4, 2021

Following a surge in the number of cases of COVID-19 infection, the State of Qatar has reimposed COVID-19 restrictions to protect the health of citizens, residents and visitors. The restrictions came into effect as of Thursday, 4 February. The exception to this was the policy relating to weddings, which went into effect on Sunday, 7 February. All new COVID-19 restrictions are subject to change, at the discretion of the Supreme Committee for Crisis Management. 

The new restrictions include the following measures:

  • No more than 5 people may gather indoors and no more than 15 outdoors during social visits or funerals, and no more than 15 people may gather at winter camps. 
  • Postponement of all weddings, except at home or majlis, limited to the family of the husband and wife only, and limited to 10 people only indoors and 20 people only outdoors. The MOI must be notified of all weddings and pledges to abide by precautionary measures must be given. 
  • Restaurants limited to 50% capacity outdoors and 15% capacity indoors. "Clean Qatar" certified restaurants can operate at 30% capacity indoors. 
  • Mosques remain open for daily prayers and Friday prayers; toilets and ablution facilities remain closed. 
  • Closure of playgrounds and exercise equipment in public parks, beaches and the Corniche, with gatherings limited to 15 people. 
  • Closure of saunas, steam rooms, hot tubs, Turkish and Moroccan baths. Massage services in 5-star hotels remain open at 30% capacity. 
  • Health clubs and gyms remain at 30% capacity. 
  • Closure of indoor amusement parks and entertainment centers. Outdoor facilities to operate at 30% capacity. 
  • Capacity of wholesale markets reduced to 30%. Capacity of traditional markets reduced to 50%. 
  • Closure of indoor swimming pools and water parks. Outdoor facilities reduced to 30% capacity. 
  • Limitation of sports training for professionals and amateurs to 40 people outdoors and 20 people indoors, with no spectators. 
  • Continuation of the blended learning system in all public and private schools and kindergartens at the current level, while implementing the weekly rotating attendance schedules. 
  • Reduction of capacity of educational and private training centers to 30%. 
  • Reduction of capacity of nurseries and childcare facilities to 30%. 

Full details of all new restrictions can be found here

Myths & Misconceptions

Social media is keeping us all connected during this time of social distancing, but it is also sometimes responsible for spreading rumors and falsehoods. Below are some common misconceptions about COVID-19.

“Mosquitoes can spread COVID-19.”

FALSE. Currently, there is no evidence that mosquitoes are capable of spreading COVID-19. Its primary means of transmission is via the sneezing/coughing of an infected person. 

Source: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: Myth busters

“Spraying alcohol on my body will kill COVID-19.”

FALSE. If the Coronavirus (SAR-CoV2) has already entered your body, then spraying alcohol will not kill it. It may, in fact, be harmful to the body. Use soap and water to keep your body clean. 

Source: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: Myth busters

“Eating garlic can prevent COVID-19 infection.”

FALSE. Garlic does have some properties that may kill bacteria. But there is no evidence that eating garlic can protect people from COVID-19.

Source: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: Myth busters

“I am in my twenties and therefore safe from COVID-19.”

FALSE. COVID-19 has been shown to affect people of all ages. Older people and those with medical conditions may suffer more complications due to COVID-19. That said, children are at lower risk of acquiring the disease than adults.

Source: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: Myth busters

“Antibiotics can treat COVID-19”.

FALSE. Antibiotics work against bacteria, but not viruses.

Source: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: Myth busters

“If we do enough physical distancing, we will see dramatic results immediately.”

FALSE. It takes time for infected people to become sick. The beneficial effects of physical distancing likely take several weeks to become apparent.

Source: Busting coronavirus social distancing myths | News | Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health

“COVID-19 was intentionally released by people working in a lab.”

FALSE. Viruses change over time. Occasionally, a disease outbreak happens when a virus that is common in an animal such as a pig, bat or bird undergoes changes and passes to humans. This is likely how the new coronavirus came to be.

Source: Coronavirus Disease 2019: Myth vs. Fact

“Ordering or buying products shipped from China will make a person sick.”

FALSE. Most viruses like this one do not stay alive for very long on surfaces, so it is not likely you would get COVID-19 from a package that was in transit for days or weeks. However, it is a very good idea to thoroughly wash your hands after handling the packages.

Source: Coronavirus Disease 2019: Myth vs. Fact

Tips for healthy eating while social distancing

The below nutrition tips were developed by Janet Lau, RDN, CDN, CLT, holistic coach and dietitian at the Integrative Health and Wellbeing Program at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York, in partnership with NewYork-Presbyterian. There are many other sources of information available online.

  • Stick to your routine mealtimes. Aim to have three to four complete meals per day that are about four hours apart, leaving three hours between dinner and bedtime. Avoid snacking if not hungry.
    • Aim to choose foods from the Mediterranean Diet.  Be mindful of what is on your plate.
    • Protein: lean is preferable
    • Starch: eat whole grain and/or replace with a root vegetable
    • Vegetable: dark green is preferable, especially when embellished with colorful vegetables.
    • Fruit: consume 1-3 servings per day

  • Mindful Eating Tips
    • Eat when hungry and at set mealtimes.  Start with small portions and eat slowly.
    • Chew your food well at least 20 times.
    • Enjoy the taste, texture, aroma, and colors of the food you are eating
    • Avoid watching TV or being distracted while eating.
    • Additional information regarding healthy snacks can be found here.

How to support your physical health

The staff of the Integrative Health and Wellbeing Program at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York, in partnership with NewYork-Presbyterian, has developed the below tips, including some websites you may find helpful.  

  • Take time to reset. Relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, listening to music or nature sounds can activate the body’s relaxation response. Even a few minutes of these activities can make a big difference and can be practiced anywhere.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Start your day right with breakfast, and keep your energy up and your mind clear with balanced, nutritious meals throughout the day. Healthy snacks such as nuts, fresh and dried fruits, whole grain crackers, and nut butters are preferred over sugary processed foods.
  • Stay hydrated: Seems simple but we often overlook it. Aim to drink at least six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. Avoid caffeinated or sugary beverages that can actually dehydrate you.
  • Get enough sleep. Aim for somewhere between 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Develop a relaxing bedtime ritual (listen to calming music, watch a funny show, or read something light) and make your bedroom as quiet, dark, and soothing as possible. Limit intake of caffeine and energy drinks. 
  • Exercise: A great way to destress. Anything from simple stretches, a quick yoga routine or a run in the park can be very therapeutic. Since gyms are closed, here is a list of free home exercise resources.


  • Integrative Health: 15-minute series for all levels
  • Yoga with Adrienne: 20-45 minute videos for all levels
  • Alo Yoga: for more intermediate and advanced practitioners, free for 2 weeks


  • Blogilates: combination of 15-20 minute targeted workouts
  • Psychetruth: 30-day Pilates or yoga challenge with extensive videos
  • Pilates Anytime: access to over 3,000 Pilates classes with free 15-day trial


  • Popsugar fitness: combination of zumba and cardio
  • Fitness Blender: free cardio, strength and stretch workout videos
  • Tone It Up: daily online workouts with a free 7-day trial
  • Beachbody: online classes with a free 14-day trial
  • ObéFitness: live fitness classes with a free 30-day trial (code: ATHOME)
  • CrossFit: free at-home workout videos, including single exercises and drills

Other useful links

COVID-19 Facts in Brief

Mothers working from home: managing anxiety

Self-enhancement Opportunities and Mental Health 

Coping with Anxiety in a Public Health Crisis

Qatar Government Communications Office 

COVID-19 Qatar Info Website