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Thursday, June 17, 2021

UK slaps ban on all direct flights from Qatar

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An additional flight ban on all direct flights on the Qatar-England route was also announced.

British authorities added Qatar onto the country’s red list on Monday evening, as part of strict measures to help contain surging cases in the UK.

This includes a temporary ban of direct flights from Qatar to England.

The move, effective March 19, only allows entry to British citizens and residents, all of whom must quarantine in a hotel at arrival. Previously, tourists form Qatar were allowed to go to the UK, but all arriving passengers had to undergo mandatory quarantine.

Nationals and residents wanting to travel to the England, must make adjustments to their flight route by either transiting through a European country, or through Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, all of which have their own quarantine policies in place.

The UK’s Department for Transport announced the decision on Monday evening.

The mandatory hotel quarantine for those entering the UK costs more than £1,500.

The move comes just days after Qatar announced the presence of cases with the UK variant of Covid-19, and responds to “new data showing an increased risk of importation of variants of concern.”

Read more: UK strain, spike in hospitalisation: Will more Covid-19 restrictions be imposed?

“Adding Qatar to the UK’s high-risk red list means no-one can transit without having to hotel quarantine on their return,” said Paul Charles, chief executive of the travel consultancy The PC Agency.

“This effectively adds tens of destinations to the high-risk list,” he added.


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