FIFA World Cup 2022: Rules football fans should know before visiting Qatar

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The 2022 Qatar World Cup is less than 50 days away, with the tournament set to attract more than one million football fans from around the globe.

Football’s biggest tournament kicks off on November 20 - marking the first time the FIFA tournament has been hosted by a Middle East country - and fans from within the region and across the world are gearing up for the month-long sporting action.

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But what rules can international football fans expect from the tournament?

COVID-19 rules

Anyone planning to watch a match at FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will need a negative COVID-19 test to enter the country. The rule applies whether they have been vaccinated or not.

Fans aged six and above must have a negative PCR test result which must have been taken within 48 hours before their departure for Qatar.

It is also possible to enter with proof of a negative rapid antigen test, but that must be taken 24 hours before arriving in the country. People also need to wear face masks when traveling on public transport in Qatar.

Health insurance

Visitors to Qatar will now have to pay about $13 (QR50) for a health insurance premium, according to the Official Gazette in Qatar. The price will cost the same if the visa is extended. The health insurance premium will cover basic services, including emergency and accident treatment services.

Hayya cards

Anyone wishing to enter the country after November 1 will be expected to apply for a Hayya card. It is a personalized document issued and reportedly required by everyone attending the FIFA World Cup matches.

It will also provide free public transport access in Qatar, including the metro and bus.

Social rules

It is legal to consume licensed beverages if you are over the age of 21 in Qatar. Fans can expect to be able to purchase alcohol in “licensed bars or restaurants.” The government has also recently announced the relaxation of some of their restrictions on the purchase of licensed beverages for the duration of the World Cup, with beer being made available to fans after 6.30 p.m. in fan zones and before and after matches in the eight stadium compounds - though not at concourse concession stands — before and after games, and during evenings only at the official “Fan Festival” which is being held in a downtown Doha park.

Game tickets promising access to champagnes, wine, liquor and beer for hospitality clients at Qatari stadiums have been on sale since February 2021 as part of corporate packages offering “premium beverages.” Drinking in public is still prohibited.

Clothing

Fans have been advised to dress “modestly,” with shoulders covered. Shorts or sleeveless tops are not recommended, with entry to some official buildings likely to be denied if found to be shy of modesty standards, according to The Independent newspaper in the UK, referencing the Qatar Tourism Authority.

Smoking

Whilst smoking cigarettes is legal in Qatar, it is prohibited in all public spaces including museums, sports clubs, shopping malls and restaurants. Violators can be subject to fines.

The importation, purchase and use of e-cigarettes have been banned in Qatar since 2014, with offenders punishable by up to three months imprisonment and a fine of about $2,750 (QAR 10,000).

Football’s biggest tournament kicks off with a match between Qatar and Ecuador at Doha’s al-Bayt Arena.

More than 2 million tickets for the FIFA World Cup have been sold to date.

Read more:

Qatar’s organizers of the World Cup agree on policy to serve beer to fans

Football fans in UAE, Saudi gear for FIFA World Cup 2022

UAE announces $27 multi-entry visa for Qatar’s FIFA World Cup fans with Hayya card

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