A Wales fan said he is glad Qatar scrapped mandatory Covid-19 tests ahead of the FIFA World Cup next month.

World Cup

BBC News reports that visitors to the Gulf state will still have to follow local restrictions, including proof of vaccination.

But from 1 November it will drop a requirement for a PCR test 48 hours before arrival, or a lateral flow test a day before.

“It makes life so much easier and less stressful for everyone in the end,” said Gerwyn Jones.

The Wales supporter from Gaerwen, Anglesey had already booked and paid £75 for a test that is no longer necessary. “I decided to order the tests in case there were more postal strikes,” he said. “Obviously I’m not happy that I had to pay, now it’s clear they won’t be needed.”

Like many fans, he will stay in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates for the tournament, travelling into Qatar for each Wales match. It would have meant testing before each trip.

Gerwyn said dropping the need for Covid-19 tests would make life easier for fans. “I’m happy the rules have changed,” he said.

Wales men return to the biggest stage in world football for the first time in 64 years after eliminating Ukraine in a playoff in June.

The selection of Qatar as the tournament’s host has been controversial because of is record on human rights. Homosexual acts are illegal, causing groups representing gay football fans to asked the Qatar government to “guarantee their safety”.

Some Wales fans said they will boycott the tournament despite their team’s qualification. The decision to drop testing for visitor is due to “the number of Covid-19 cases continuing to fall,” the country’s health ministry said.

Officials added that maintaining regular hand hygiene, getting tested if experiencing Covid symptoms, and following a healthy lifestyle were still “needs” for visitors.

(Story source: BBC News)

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