Qatar has added a number of countries to its COVID-19 travel warning list.
The COVID-19 travel red-list has reportedly been updated by social media users and news outlets. News circulating revealed that the red-listed countries are expected to include the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey.
Qatar has classified countries into two lists, Green and Red, as well as a secondary list of Exceptional Red Countries, based on international and local health risk indicators and Covid-19 epidemiology in each country.
Travelers from a red list (high risk) country must be quarantined, while those from a green list (low risk) country are not. As each country's health situation changes, this classification is subject to change as well.
Upon further investigation, Misbar discovered that Doha News had been the source of the widely circulated allegation. According to a tweet from the Qatari news outlet, the United Arab Emirates, Kenya, Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey will be added to Qatar's COVID travel red list as of 6 p.m. local time on December 26. on the platform's website.
However, there was no evidence to support this claim from Qatar's official windows. Claims that the COVID-related travel policy of Qatar has been changed by the Ministry of Public Health of Qatar have been circulating on Twitter, and the ministry has urged the community to disregard them. According to a statement from the Ministry of Health, "the Ministry of Public Health would like to reaffirm its commitment to providing accurate information about Qatar's COVID-19 Travel & Return Policy and to remind the community to disregard misinformation circulating on other media."
Later, Doha News issued an update to the story, declaring that "no countries have been added to Qatar's COVID travel red list." The misinformation was attributed to Qatar Airways, according to Doha News, who stated that "on Sunday, Qatar's national airline posted on its website information that the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, among other countries, would be placed on Qatar's travel Red List effective later that day." That information was removed from the airline's website a few hours later."
Misbar discovered no updates on the Qatar COVID-related red list while exploring the official website and platforms of the Qatar Ministry of Public Health. As a result, Misbar considers the widely circulated claim to be deceptive.