Only outdoor activities allowed during this year’s National Sports Day


In a statement released by the Ministry of Culture and Sports of the State of Qatar, the Organising Committee of the National Sport Day in Qatar, in coordination with the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) released a document with the Healthcare Protocol and Public Health Measures to be followed during the National Sports Day this year. The document by the Organising Committee of the National Sport Day mentions the ways of safely holding sports events in celebration of National Sports Day this year amid the Covid-19 Pandemic and following public health measures to protect the health of all and they are as follows:

Training and venue preparation:

  • All training and preparation before and during the event must only be conducted outdoors.
  • Activities in indoor settings are completely not allowed.
  • Participants will arrive at the training venues in buses or private vehicles. The players must be transported in small groups and maintain 1.5 meters distance. For private cars, no more than 4 people are allowed in each car including the driver. All occupants should be wearing face masks during the transit, at all times.
  • Once the participants reach the venue, close interaction with other people should be avoided and a safe distance must be maintained at all times.
  • The safe distance of at least 1.5 meters must be strictly maintained at all times.
  • Local Organizing Committee (LOC) should assign staff at training venues to check all participants’ temperatures each day. Additional staff/volunteers should be assigned to reinforce compliance with health measures.
  • No sharing of clothing, towels, soap or other personal items. The participants should wash hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser as an alternative. Hand sanitiser stations should be available all over the event venues and on buses.
  • All participants and spectators must be reminded to adhere to health measures, especially physical distancing and wearing face masks. Participants’ use of common showers and changing rooms should be avoided at all venues.
  • All participants must download the “Ehteraz” app. Only those who have a green status are allowed to enter.
  • Ensure that all used spaces and surfaces are cleaned and disinfected on regular basis.
  • Provide visual reminders and health awareness materials such as banners or posters.
  • Provide an isolation area for anyone showing COVID-19 symptoms, and notify health officials.

Regarding audience and spectators:

  • Spectator capacity will not exceed 30% of total outdoor seating capacity while maintaining social distancing.
  • Family groups of the same household can sit together either on the stands or in the open, but with the same minimum of 1.5m distance from other families in all directions.
  • Check EHTERAZ App is downloaded, check that the status is green to allow entry.
  • Thermal screening must be conducted for employees, athletes, and the public before entering the stands area or rally place, entry will be prohibited for those with a temperature above 37.8 degrees.
  • Gates are to open early to avoid crowding at the entrances.
  • Avoid crowding during spectators entry and exit areas maintaining a safe distance between people all the time.
  • All spectators must wear face masks all the time.
  • Makeshift sale outlets at the venue inside and outside the seating areas are allowed if necessary, according to MOPH guidelines for Restaurants.
  • Smoking is not allowed on the stands and in public places.
  • Designated smoking rooms/areas should be approved by the relevant MOPH department.
  • Vulnerable and high-risk groups including those over 60, people with chronic illnesses and people with disabilities, should be discouraged from attending the event for their own safety.
  • Make special considerations for vulnerable groups if attendance is inevitable, keep vulnerable groups safe and protected all the time with strict adherence to public health measures.
  • No spitting, no cheering, no live choir and no live singing by spectators as this can spread the virus.
  • The health authorities might decide, any time based on the level of spread of infection in the community, to hold the event behind closed doors (no spectators) or even recommend postponing the event if necessary.

With respect to sport events:

  • All participants must maintain a minimum of 1.5 meters safe distance during the parade and during the training for the parade.
  • Masks are mandatory and should be worn all the time except during exercise.
  • No cheering, live choir or live group singing is allowed during training or at the events.
  • Individual protection packages must be provided for participants containing: Small personal packages of disposable tissues and plastic bags for tissue disposal, several medical masks to wear, small packages of alcohol-based hand wipes or hand sanitiser.

For Quarantine at hotels:

  • All international participants or guests, if applicable, are required to enter into a hotel quarantine as per Qatar’s specific regulation and quarantine protocol in force at the time.
  • Guests might be required to undergo Covid-19 testing upon arrival and 6 days after arrival.
  • Upon arrival at the hotel, participants or guests will undergo thermal scanning and might be interviewed and screened for possible Covid-19 symptoms and signs. If the participant is found to be symptomatic (with fever, cough, flu-like symptoms… etc.) or showing other symptoms and signs they will be set for further assessment by medical staff at the nearest healthcare facility or emergency department and could be referred to a designated hospital for further assessment and management accordingly.

Regarding COVID-19 testing:

  • All participants must submit a certificate of clearance of Covid-19 (Negative RT-PCR or equivalent test) performed 72 hours prior to participation in the event.
  • RT-PCR or equivalent testing will be conducted using a mid-turbinate nasal swab at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) or the National Reference Lab.
  • Participants who test positive for Covid-19 will not be allowed to participate unless they have completely recovered i.e. after the lapse of 14 days of diagnosis and at least 5 days of disappearance of any Covid-19 symptoms and signs, or the lapse of 10 days of a positive PCR test in an asymptomatic individual.
  • Refusal of swabbing for PCR or equivalent testing will result in dismissal from participation in the event training and the event itself.

Regarding food and catering:

  • Meals should be served in accordance with the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) guidance for catering during Exhibitions/Conferences/Cultural Events. Only ready-made or prepackaged meals are allowed during preparations, training and during the actual event with a minimum of 2 meters distance between tables in all directions with not more than 4 people seated on the same table and with 1.5-meter distance between people if on the same table.
  • Food outlets and concessions at the venue are restricted to ready-made takeaway in disposable packaging. Prepackaged, grab and go food meals and drinks to shorten waiting time for customers are preferred. Dining in outdoor settings is preferred over indoor settings.
  • Queues for obtaining meals must comply with the minimum of 1.5m physical distancing precautions – mark floors to ensure compliance and provide staff or volunteers to ensure public compliance.
  • No buffet food is to be served in any venue.

Source and cover image: Ministry of Culture and Sports