Traveling to Qatar during Pandemic: An Overseas Filipino Worker Guide

By Joelyn Baluyut (Contributor)

Even pandemic can’t stop Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) from returning to their work abroad. 

Filipinos with resident permit and has acquired Exceptional Entry Permit through Qatar Portal are now able to travel back to Qatar.

Here’s what you need to know

1.     Book your flight accordingly to your airline of choice – there are two airlines which offer direct flights to Doha – via Philippine Airlines and Qatar Airways. If you are travelling via Qatar Airways (QA), you need to present a COVID-19 free certificate from QA’s authorized laboratories. 

As of September 5  (

CityApproved laboratories
AlbayBicol Regional Diagnostic and Reference Laboratory
BataanBataan General Hospital and Medical Center
BatangasPRC- Batangas Chapter Molecular LaboratoryMary Mediatrix Medical CenterDaniel O. Mercado Medical Center
BenguetBaguio General Hospital Medical Center (BGHMC)Parkway Medical and Diagnostic Center
BoholGovernor Celestino Gallares Memorial Medical Center
BulacanQualimed Hospital – San Jose Del Monte
CaviteDe La Salle University – CaviteOspital ng Imus
CebuAllegiant Regional Care HospitalCebu TB Reference LaboratoryVicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC)Prime Care Alpha Covid-19 Testing LaboratoryPhilippine Red Cross – Cebu ChapterUniversity of Cebu Medical CenterCebu Doctors University Hospital, Inc.Chong Hua Hospital
DavaoSouthern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC)Davao One World Diagnostic Center Incorporated
IloiloWestern Visayas Medical Center (WVMC)Qualimed Health Network – Iloilo
La UnionIlocos Training and Regional Medical Center
LagunaQualimed Hospital Sta. RosaSan Pablo District HospitalUPLB Covid-19 Molecular LaboratorySan Pablo College Medical Center
LeyteDivine Word HospitalEastern Visayas Regional Covid-19 Testing Center
Metro ManilaAFRIMS – Collaborative Molecular LaboratoryAsian Hospital and Medical CenterChinese General HospitalDetoxicare Molecular Diagnostics LaboratoryLung Center of the Philippines (LCP)Makati Medical Center (HB)Marikina Molecular Diagnostic laboratoryPhilippine Genome Center UP-Diliman (NHB)Philippine Red Cross – Philippine Red Cross – Mandaluyong CityPhilippine Red Cross – Port AreaPhilippine Red Cross Logistics and Multipurpose CenterResearch Institute for Tropical Medicine, Inc. (RITM)San Lazaro HospitalSingapore Diagnostic, Inc.St. Luke’s Medical Center – BGC (HB)St. Luke’s Medical Center- QCThe Medical City – OrtigasUniversity of the Philippines National Institutes of Health (UP NIH)University of the Philippines UP-PGH-MRL (NHB)National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) – (HB)Philippine National Police Crime Laboratory (PNP Crime Lab.)Safeguard DNA Diagnostic, Inc.Tropical Disease Foundation. Inc.Hi-Precision (QC)San Miguel Foundation Testing LaboratoryFe Del Mundo Medical CenterHealth Delivery Systems, Inc.Dr. Jose B. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital and Sanitarium (TALA)Philippine Airport Diagnostic LaboratoryDe Los Santos Medical CenterVictoriano Luna Medical CenterPhilippine Children’s Medical CenterUniversity of Perpetual Help System Dalta
Misamis OrientalNorthern Mindanao TB Regional CenterPolymedic Medical Plaza, Inc.
Negros OccidentalTeresita Jalandoni Provincial HospitalCorazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional HospitalBacolod Queen of Mercy HospitalThe Doctors Hospital, Inc.
PampangaJose B. Lingad Memorial General HospitalGreen City Medical CenterPhilippine Red Cross – Clark Molecular Laboratory
QuezonLucena United Doctors Hospital and Medical Center
ZambalesPhilippine Red Cross – Logistics and Training Center
Zamboanga Del SurZamboanga City Medical Center-Department of AgricultureSatellite Laboratory for COVID-19 TestingCiudad Medical Zamboanga

2.     The Philippines is not among the low-risk countries tagged by Qatar, meaning, the traveler has to undergo a 7-day hotel and 7-day home quarantine upon arrival at the Hamad International Airport (HIA).

3.     Book your hotel reservation for a 7-day mandatory quarantine package via Discovery Qatar website (

4.     Prior to your flight, prepare your Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC), you can apply online via POEA :: Balik-Manggagawa Online Processing System
POEA :: Balik-Manggagawa Online Processing System

5.     Upon your flight date, prepare the following

a.     If you are traveling via Qatar Airways – printed copy of Hotel Booking for your 7-day hotel quarantine, Exceptional Entry Permit Document, COVID-19 free certificate, QA’s COVID-19 PCR Test Passenger Consent Form

b.     OEC

c.     Qatar Residency ID (QID)

Whether you are departing from Clark International Airport (CIA) or Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), it is mandatory to wear a face mask and a face shield upon entering the facility.

During check-in, prepare the following documents needed on step number 5, proceed to the usual protocol of the airport, go through Immigration, present your OEC and wait until your boarding time.

On flight, you are still mandated to wear a face mask and face shield with exemption when eating. They will likewise provide you with a protective kit which include a mask, gloves and sanitizer.

A ‘Protective’ Kit will be provided when you board the plane, it contains a face mask, gloves and sanitizer.

When I left via CIA on September 3 boarding QA, the airport is expecting 17 passengers to board, but only nine passengers boarded the plane, six with direct flight to Doha, while the remaining three are connecting flight. The aircraft has a capacity of 232 passengers on a full flight.

You can count on your fingers passengers travelling internationally via Clark International Airport in Pampanga.

Only nine passengers boarded the September 3 flight from Clark to Doha. The aircraft has a capacity of 232.

What’s next upon arrival at HIA?

1.     Proceed to transfer facility, a member from Red Crescent Society (QRCS) will assist you to download Ehteraz – Qatar’s COVID-19 tracking application. You need to have a working SIM card and your QID to fill up the information needed for you to proceed to the next counter.

2.     An airport official will check your Ehteraz status as you provide your Exceptional Entry Permit Document, they will stamp it and you will then proceed to a desk which will check your hotel booking.

3.     Proceed to Immigration – present your Passport and QID. 

4.     Get your luggage.

5.     Go to counter number 3 to get your hotel voucher.

6.     Proceed to Quarantine Transfer exit and present the hotel voucher.

7.     Present your hotel voucher to the security personnel outside the airport for your service to take you to your hotel of choice.

8.     Upon arriving to the hotel, you will be redirected to a Clinic where a Nurse will check your temperature, ask basic information including if you have any allergy, pregnant, or taking any medications.

9.     A swab test will be done 2 days prior to your check out or on the 5th day of your 7-day hotel quarantine.

10.  If found negative, you will undergo a 7-day home quarantine, if positive, you will be transferred to isolation.

Present your hotel voucher to be able to enter the Quarantine Transfer

There are only about six OFWs who travelled back to Qatar September 3

The famous Lamp bear where people flock to take a photo is nowhere seem to be busy.

The Ehteraz app which determines your health status will turn to green after your 7-day home quarantine.

Qatar is the fourth biggest OFW destination in the Middle East with 5.6% of the total 2.2 million OFWs according to 2019 Survey on Overseas Filipinos of Philippine Statistics Office (PSA). 

The country is one with lowest mortality rates in the world. As of writing, there are only 2,882 active cases, 119,864 positive cases, 116,780 recoveries, 202 deaths, 397 in acute care and 51 in Intensive Care Unit. 

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