Indian team to leave for Qatar next week

The Indian national team will fly to Qatar next week to take part in the three remaining fixtures of the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers. The players will not have to undergo a hard quarantine of 10 days on arrival in Qatar and can start training immediately.

However, the team will remain in a bio-secure bubble and have to strictly follow the protocols as mandated by the organisers.

The following measures are implemented for travellers coming from India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines, whether they are travelling through direct flight or via other countries (transit), which include :

  • All passengers whose original flight is from the said countries are subject to mandatory COVID-19 PCR Test done 48 hours before departure from the testing centres approved by their local health authority. Knowing that no one can board the flight to Qatar without a valid Negative PCR certificate.
  • All arrivals from those countries must undergo (10) days quarantine in a dedicated quarantine facility, or (14) days if quarantined at Mekhaines facility.
  • Home quarantine criteria is not applicable for travelers coming from these countries, including the exemptions due to vaccination or recovery from a previous infection with the virus during the past six months.
  • All arrivals from those countries must undergo a repeat COVID-19 PCR test at the quarantine facility within one day of arrival. Knowing that the PCR test will be repeated during and before the end of the quarantine period. ​​
  • All passengers transiting through Qatar must have the mandatory pre-travel PCR test as mentioned in point 1, and in case they require another PCR test for their onward destination, they can have it at Hamad International Airport on a standard fee of QAR 300/- per test.​

However, the second rule has been relaxed after deliberations between the AIFF (All India Football Federation) and Qatar Football Association (QFA) in consultation with the Health Ministry of Qatar. The national team players will have to produce a COVID-19 negative test result before they convene at Delhi and thereafter, another test will be conducted as a negative test result 48 hours prior to the journey to Doha is mandatory.

It is believed that not just India but Bangladesh too has seen their hard quarantine in Doha being waived off.

The Blues Tigers are set to play against hosts Qatar on June 3, Afghanistan on June 7 and Bangladesh on June 11. India are currently fourth on the points table and from the remaining fixtures, they will hope to collect as many points as possible and finish third so that they can seal automatic qualification for the 2023 Asian Cup qualifying third round.

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