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Public Health Wales urges football fans heading to Qatar to stay safe and healthy

Welsh football fans who are heading to Qatar for the World Cup finals next month are being encouraged to keep safe and healthy when they travel to the Middle East.

Experts from Public Health Wales advise that anyone planning to support Rob Page’s men in Qatar should check whether they are up to date with their vaccinations before they travel.

With the first Wales match against the USA scheduled for 21 November, time is running out for fans to protect themselves against a range of diseases which could spoil their trip, as well as cause them health problems in the future.

Caryn Cox, Consultant in Health Protection for Public Health Wales, said: “We really want everyone who is travelling to the World Cup finals to have a great time in Qatar. That includes staying safe from disease.

“The best way to keep yourself safe is to make sure that you’re up to date with all your vaccinations, as these prevent you from becoming seriously ill.

“This includes any routine childhood immunisations that you may have missed out on, such as the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccination, meningitis vaccination, or the diphtheria-tetanus-polio vaccination.

“We recommend that football fans check out the dedicated web page for the tournament which gives you all the information you need to protect your health – including details of the medication that you can take with you, the activities and food that you should avoid, and advice on dealing with the climate in the area.

“In addition, should you become unwell on your return from the Middle East, it is important that you tell your GP that you have visited this area.

“If you don’t know if you’ve missed out on any of your routine vaccinations, you can check with your GP surgery.

“Also, it is important to check the entry requirements to Qatar to ensure you are up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters, as well as any testing that may be required either before travelling or on arriving.

“Finally, making sure that you have appropriate travel insurance is essential.”

Anyone heading to Qatar – or who is planning to stay in neighbouring countries – can find out the vaccination requirements and other important recommendations to stay safe and healthy from Travel Health Pro dedicated website.