What do I need to know before I travel?
Public Health Scotland logo

Fit for Travel Logo

Information on how to stay safe and healthy abroad. About us.

FIFA World Cup 2022, Qatar

25 Oct 2022

The 2022 Fédération internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup is scheduled to take place in Qatar between 20 November to 18 December. Thirty-two international football teams will take part in the tournament in eight stadiums across Qatar.

  • Further event information including fixtures, ticket sales and stadium locations can be found on the official Qatar World Cup and FIFA websites.

The potential health risks for attending the World Cup will vary depending on the amount of time you plan spending in Qatar, if you intend to spend prolonged periods standing or sitting in one or more football crowds, what other leisure activities you undertake during your trip, and if you plan travelling onwards to another destination.

Before Travel

Check for entry requirements and travel restrictions to Qatar

The Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) have produced guidance specific for UK travellers attending the Qatar World Cup which includes information about entry requirements, COVID-19 entry rules, local laws and customs, safety and security, and information about what the FCDO can do to support British nationals abroad.

From 01 November and for the duration of the tournament period, all travellers to Qatar will require to hold a Hayya card, which is a form of Fan ID and will allow access to stadiums and free public transport on match days. 

Travel Insurance

It is essential that you have appropriate travel insurance in place before travelling to Qatar.

  • Accessing healthcare services in Qatar can be expensive.
  • Make sure your policy covers in advance all your planned adventure and/or sporting activities.


Please review the fitfortravel Qatar country page for information on country-specific health advice and vaccine requirements.

Remember to check advice for all countries you are travelling to as the advice may be different for each country and advice on vaccination needs can change over time. 

Travelling with medicines

Some prescription medications and controlled medications (such as opiates like morphine) are restricted in Qatar. If you are worried your medication may be restricted, you should check in advance with the Embassy of Qatar.

If you are carrying medications into Qatar, make sure you:

  • carry all medications in their original packaging
  • carry a copy of your prescription and an official letter signed and stamped by your doctor stating the type of medication and why it’s required
  • avoid carrying more than 30-days’ supply without prior approval from the Embassy of Qatar

See the Travelling with Medicines page for further information.

During Travel

Personal Safety

It is recommended you review the FCDO safety and security advice for Qatar and be familiar with local laws and customs.

  • There are strict laws around use of alcohol or drugs, offensive behaviour, privacy, intimate behaviour in public, and importation of some goods (including e-cigarettes/vapes, pork products).
  • Penalties can be severe if caught by the Police or other law enforcement authorities.

During the tournament, stadiums, surrounding areas and public transport and are likely to be crowded. 

  • Take a note of the location of emergency exits in the stadium and consider pre-arranging a meeting place for if you become separated from your friends/group.

Although sex outside marriage is prohibited in Qatar, host authorities have confirmed there will be no restrictions on non-married friends of different genders or couples (including LGBTQ+) staying in the same room / accommodation.

Further information on personal safety page and LGBT travellers page.

Staying Healthy

To avoid common travel-related illnesses in Qatar, you should consider the following advice:

  • Practise safe food and water precautions to avoid developing common related illnesses such as travellers’ diarrhoea.
  • Know how to avoid mosquito bites and other insect bites as these can cause skin irritation and spread infections.
  • Try to practise good respiratory hygiene and hand hygiene at all times to reduce your risk of developing common respiratory (chest) and gastrointestinal (stomach) infections which can spread easily in large crowds.
  • Avoid close contact with people who appear unwell, and avoid using other people’s personal gadgets.
  • Try to stay well hydrated and practise sun safety precautions – temperatures in Qatar begin to fall around November, but can still reach 30’c during the day. The regular use of sunscreen is recommended.

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is a viral illness thought to spread to humans from infected camels. The risk for travellers to Qatar is very low, however you can protect yourself from catching MERS by:

  • avoiding close contact with camels, and other live farm or wild animals
  • avoid drinking raw camel milk, contact with camel urine, or eating undercooked camel meat or camel products (practise safe food and water precautions)
  • avoid close contact with people who appear to be suffering from chest infections
  • wash your hands regularly, especially after contact with ill people or any contact with animals

After travel

If you have symptoms, including fever, cough and/or shortness of breath within 14 days of returning home from Qatar, call your GP or NHS24 on 111 (out of hours) and inform them of your recent travel.

Further Information