STAYING SAFE: ISOCARP 2021 COVID-19 Precautions


The health and safety of 57th World Planning Congress (WPC) attendees, partners, and staff is the top priority of ISOCARP and Local Host - Ministry of Municipality and Environment in Doha, Qatar.

We are strictly monitoring the situation and will take all possible measures in order to provide a safe World Planning Congress for all delegates and persons involved. We are looking with hope that, by November, both international travels as well as meetings will be much easier and the pandemic situation under more control. This will also be made possible by the vaccination campaigns all over the world allowing to resume long awaited in-person meetings. We are working towards organising the event in Doha, but at the same time understanding that some of the current restrictions will have to remain.

The most up-to-date guidelines and recommendations by local health authorities will be observed and implemented at all times, and information will be updated on a regular basis. For questions or concerns, please contact us at congress@isocarp.org


Preparing for the 57th World Planning Congress

Congress delegates are responsible to ensure that they are aware of all travel precautions and restrictions, specific to their region and country, regarding traveling to and from Doha. For latest information regarding COVID-19 in Qatar, kindly visit the following sites:

Overview: What is the current situation in Qatar?

Since the beginning of the worldwide pandemic, Qatar has been managing the national situation very well. The country has brought the first wave in 2020 under control and the cases remained very low for a long time. Quick responses, quality of healthcare and management of the situation resulted in one of the lowest mortality rates in the world. Lately, similar to other countries, there was a second wave observed, which again is receding and becoming under control. Moreover, a speedy vaccination programme is being rolled out and already nearly 50% of people aged 16 and above have received at least one dose. It is expected to fully inoculate the whole population this year.

Moreover, Qatar has experience in successfully and safely organising events, for example, the 2020 FIFA Club World Cup, Qatar Exxon Mobil Open 2021, and Qatar Total Open 2021. Qatar Airways is the first global airline in the world to achieve a 5-star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating by Skytrax. Together with local partners, we will work to ensure that there are special treatments applied and implemented during the Congress. Further ease of travel and access for vaccinated delegates is expected.

The Congress: What happens during the actual in-person Congress?

Msheireb Downtown - the Congress location, adheres to all rules and regulations set out by the authorities, including the Ministry of Public Health, the Ministry of Municipality and Environment, and the Ministry of Tourism to ensure the health and safety of everyone attending the Congress in person.

Masks will be required for all visitors to all event venues and hand sanitizers will be provided throughout the venue.

The Hosts: What are ISOCARP and MME doing to keep you safe?

In addition to all standard requirements issued by government authorities in Qatar, ISOCARP and MME will set up additional safety protocols in its procedures to ensure the safety and well-being of 57th WPC participants and provide you with a worthwhile and enjoyable Congress experience in a safe environment. This could include the following measures, among others:

  • Minimal contact during registration
  • Open and large space in the exhibit hall as well as in the plenary and session rooms to ensure proper social distancing
  • Holding events in open air spaces.

The Attendees: What can you do to stay safe?

It is important to observe and maintain social distancing (keep 1,5 meters apart), wear a mask, and follow proper hygiene protocols, including frequent hand washing and sanitation. It is also necessary for the attendees to follow all the safety measures implemented at the venue and adhere to the regulations and restrictions required by ISOCARP, MME, MOPH, and other authorities. These will be clearly communicated to all participants. 

Most importantly, delegates should isolate and inform the Congress/event staff immediately should they develop any symptoms related to COVID-19.