The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar begins next month, and football fans around the world have questions. Can you drink alcohol in Qatar? Can you hold your hand? How to enter the Islamic State of the Gulf? Here is a guide for visitors to the very specific rules and regulations of the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
Read on for all customs and restrictions in Qatar for fans during the tournament between November 20 and December 18.
Qatar 2022 World Cup Visitor’s Guide
Entry from Qatar
Qatar expects at least a million people to visit during the World Cup and has said only people with a Hayya fan pass and match ticket can enter the country . Each ticket holder can invite three people, but they must pay an entrance fee of 500 riyals (SG186).
Once a match ticket is purchased and accommodation is booked, supporters must register online for the Hayya card which acts as a visa, match ticket and free travel pass and emergency medical care.
Drugs and drinks
Alcohol is strictly limited to foreign residents over the age of 21. Passengers cannot bring alcohol into the country. Residents need a permit to buy beer, wine and spirits for domestic consumption from two government-run stores. Residents and fans will be able to visit more than 30 hotels and restaurants where drinks are allowed and a beer can cost at least US$10 (S$14).
No alcohol will be sold at all eight stadiums, but there will be beer stands around the open venues up to 30 minutes before each match and for an hour after. In the main FIFA fan zone, the beer stands will open at 6:30 p.m. Different opening rules will apply in other private fan zones.
Narcotics are illegal and the British Embassy’s website warns people that they should expect a “severe” penalty for possessing even small amounts of the drug. This can range from jail to a fine or deportation.
The US Embassy even recommends that travelers check the legality of certain medications they might bring into Qatar and make sure they have a prescription.
Embassies also advise travelers not to import pork and any products that could be construed as “pornography”.
sex and gender
Wearing the Muslim veil is not obligatory for women but they must dress “modestly” in public, covered from the shoulders to the knees. The rule is applied in official buildings but rarely in places where expatriates congregate.
Sex outside marriage is illegal and can be punished by flogging, although there is no record of when the punishment was last used. The US Embassy recommends that pregnant women carry a marriage certificate with them in case they need medical attention.
Many embassies say that a female victim of sexual assault should contact their mission before reporting to the Qatari police.
Despite laws that criminalize same-sex relationships, the Hayya Map website says there are no restrictions for “unmarried friends of different genders or couples (including LGBTQ+)” staying in the same room. . FIFA has said the carrying of an LGBTQ rainbow flag will be allowed in stadiums. Authorities say fans should be careful in other areas.
Authorities have indicated that some leniency on social mores will be shown for the World Cup. But key organizers have warned that ‘public displays of affection’ could be seen as ‘offensive’, whether by a man and wife or a same-sex couple.
The US Embassy says protests and gatherings by large groups, “proselytizing”, insulting the Qatari government or Islam could all result in criminal charges.
Qatari authorities have warned that “congestion” is likely in the first two weeks of the World Cup, when the maximum number of fans will be present. They call on people to use public transport and taxis.
The metro, which has stations in five of the eight stadiums, will be open from 6 a.m. to 3 a.m. every day – except Fridays when it opens at 9 a.m. More than 3,000 additional buses have been brought in to transport supporters to stadiums, fan zones and the two international airports.
The main seaside Corniche highway will be closed and other roads restricted. Driving on restricted roads without permission can result in a fine of 500 riyals (S$186).
Coronavirus vaccinations are not mandatory, but before boarding a flight to Qatar, anyone over the age of six must have a negative PCR test within 48 hours or a rapid antigen test within 24 hours . Adults should download the Ehteraz health app and show it if needed.
Unvaccinated visitors must wear a mask for 10 days after arrival. Anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 will have to self-isolate for five days. Masks are mandatory in healthcare establishments and recommended in stadiums.
This story was published via AFP Relaxnews