September 29, (THEWILL) – For the more than a million spectators attending the World Cup in Qatar this year, coronavirus vaccinations will not be required, the Gulf state announced on Thursday.
However, if COVID-19 cases increase once more, players and match officials may be required to enter a secure “bio-bubble,” and those found outside the secure area risk being kicked out of the competition, according to the health ministry.
The 29-day tournament will be the first major global sporting event with fans since the outbreak in December 2019 of the COVID pandemic, which has since killed more than six million people globally.
FIFA and the Qatari organisers want the event to be a sign that the world is moving past the devastating pandemic. They predict that more than one million people will come to Doha for the matches.
However, in its World Cup guidelines, Qatar’s health ministry issued a warning that extra actions would be mandated “in the event of a worsening pandemic situation in the country,” such as the appearance of a grave new variation.