Qatar shuts out foreigners, rolls out stimulus package

Qatar announced an entry ban for foreigners on Sunday and also unveiled a $23.35 billion stimulus package to shield the economy against coronavirus impact.

The measures were announced by Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, Qatar news agency reported. Confirmed coronavirus cases in Qatar stood at 401 as of Sunday evening.

According to the report, the Emir has ordered the stopping of all incoming flights to Doha, starting from Wednesday evening, March 18, for 14 days, with the exception of air cargo and transit flights.

Qatari citizens are allowed to enter the country, but they will be placed in quarantine for a period of 14 days.

The Emir also allowed employees over the age of 55, pregnant women, and people suffering from chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart and kidney disease, and high blood pressure, to work from home.

Students in government schools will start studying remotely from March 22, and students from grades one to eleven will be subject to a continuous evaluation.

As part of the economic stimulus programme, $20.6 billion will be used to support and provide financial and economic incentives in the private sector.

The central bank has been asked to put in place the appropriate mechanism to encourage banks to postpone loan instalments and obligations of the private sector with a grace period of six months.

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