Qatar is lifting additional COVID-19 regulations ahead of the World Cup, with visitors no longer required to provide negative tests upon entry from Tuesday.

The government also announced that the Ehteraz coronavirus tracking app on phones will only be needed to enter health facilities – instead of accessing all public buildings.

The Gulf nation already this week lifted the requirement to wear face masks on the subway – with the coverings usually required only in medical facilities and some offices.

Qatar’s Ministry of Health said it was responding to “the number of cases of COVID-19 that continue to fall worldwide and in Qatarand the ongoing deployment of Qatari nationals COVID-19 vaccination program.”

The government only said it “highlighted the need” for precautions to reduce the risk of infection, including full vaccination – rather than making it a requirement.

Qatar’s latest data showed 421 positive cases and no deaths in the last 24 hours among 2,185 active cases.

The first in the Middle East World Cup It opens on November 20, with England facing Iran the following day and Wales facing the United States.

FIFA predicted more than a million spectators would attend the tournament’s 64 matches, including around 10,000 England fans and 5,000 Wales fans.

COVID-related restrictions aren’t the only laws being eased in the country, with normally strict alcohol laws also being eased.

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Many fans chose to stay in nearby Dubai, where drinking regulations are less strict, and then fly to Qatar for the games.

The tournament has been mired in controversy since it was announced that Qatar will be the host nation.

Concerns about the conservative country’s treatment of LGBT people have been the focus of attention from a gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell was arrested on Tuesday.

Minister of Foreign Affairs James Cleverley was also criticized on Wednesday for saying that LGBT fans should “respect the culture” of the host country.