Bahrain’s government has said it would impose entry visas on Qatari nationals and expatriates residing in Qatar starting 10 November.
“The aim of these measures is to prevent harm to the security and stability of the kingdom of Bahrain,” Bahrain’s Interior Minister Abdullah Bin Rashid al-Khalifa said.
To obtain a visa, Qataris and Qatari residents will be required to submit an application “in accordance with the instructions published on the website of the General Directorate of Nationality, Passports and Residence.”
The visa requirement is the first such measure adopted by a GCC state on Qatar. The six GCC states’ treaty stipulates that citizens of these countries can travel to other member-states without requiring a visa.
It is also the first measure that formalises travel restrictions on Qatar. Bahrain, along with Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Egypt broke off diplomatic relations with Qatar in June. They also closed all transport space to Qatar inbound and outbound traffic since then.
The four countries, along with other allies, have accused Qatar of supporting terrorism, an allegation that Qatar has strongly denied
Kuwait and Oman have maintained a neutral stance in the ongoing blockade that aims to change Qatar’s foreign policies that contradict with those adopted by the Saudi-led bloc.