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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Qatar Airways lifts restrictions after US travel ban suspended

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Photo for illustrative purposes only. Credit: Chantelle D’mello/Doha News

Qatar’s national carrier has said it will drop special screening of travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries to the US for now.

The move by Qatar Airways and several other airlines comes after a US judge halted a temporary travel ban on nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

In a statement yesterday, Qatar Airways said:

“As directed by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), nationals of the seven affected countries listed below and all refugees seeking admission presenting a valid, unexpired U.S. visa or Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) card (Green Card) will be permitted to travel to the United States and will be processed accordingly upon arrival.”

Previously, the airline said it would not allow travelers without certain visas to continue on their journeys.

Uncertain circumstances

More than 100,000 people have been affected by the new immigration restrictions in the two weeks since US President Donald Trump instituted the ban.

This has included students, professionals and refugees, among others.

US President Donald Trump. Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

The president said the temporary policy was for safety reasons, but many have criticized it for unfairly targeting Muslims.

Last week, Qatar’s own foreign minister urged the US to “do the right thing” and said a Muslim ban “is something we will stand against.”

However, the UAE’s foreign minister defended the ban a few days ago, calling it an “American sovereign decision.”

The Trump administration has appealed the judge’s ruling and it remains unclear what will happen next.

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