DOHA, 19 March 2021: All Qatar Airlines flights stop to
cities in England, 19 March, following Qatar’s inclusion on England’s updated
red-list.

The Department of Transport announced earlier this week that
more countries had been added to the red list to protect the UK vaccination
programme against Covid-19 variants. Scotland has still to update its list,
meaning, for the time being, Qatar Airways could continue to fly to Edinburgh.

Ethiopia, Oman, Somalia and Qatar joins England’s red list while Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores) and Mauritius have been removed.

Qatar’s inclusion on the red-list halts all flights
effective 19 March and will have a major impact on Qatar Airways, leaving
hundreds of passengers stranded who were booked on flights in the coming days
and weeks.

British, Irish and third-country nationals with residence rights (including long-term visa holders) arriving from these countries will be required to quarantine in a government-approved hotel quarantine facility for 10 days.

With over 24 million vaccinations delivered in the UK, the move will help to reduce the risk of new variants – such as those first identified in South Africa and Brazil – entering England, according to the Department of Transport statement.

It warned that effective from 0400 on Friday 19 March 2021,
visitors who have departed from or transited through these countries in the
previous 10 days will be refused entry into England.

Only British and Irish citizens, or those with residence rights (including long-term visa holders), will be allowed to enter and must stay in a government-approved facility for 10 days. During their stay, they will be required to take a coronavirus test on day two and day eight.

A ban on commercial and private planes flying from Oman,
Ethiopia and Qatar will also come into force on Friday to reduce the risk of
importing variants of concern. This excludes cargo and freight without
passengers.

Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores) and Mauritius will be removed from England’s red list. This means that passengers arriving in England from these destinations will no longer be required to quarantine in a government-approved facility.

However, they must self-isolate for 10 days on arrival to
the UK at home and take a Covid-19 test on day two and day eight and will be
able to able to end self-isolation early through Test to Release. Passengers
from these destinations who arrived before 0400 Friday 19 March must stay in
their hotel for the remainder of their 10-day quarantine period.

It’s a major blow for passengers who are booked on Qatar Airways flights to the UK with a transit stop
in Doha. 

The ban applies to all travel to England, while Scotland has yet to add Qatar to its acute risk countries list. Qatar Airways currently operates a direct service from Doha to the Scottish capital city of Edinburgh.

But there is a strong possibility that Scotland will follow
England’s move and add Ethiopia, Oman, Somalia, and Qatar to its own list as it
generally adopts similar measures as adopted in neighbouring England.

However, if the  Doha
to Edinburgh remains open to Qatar Airways flights, travellers must have
negative coronavirus (COVID-19) test results valid within 72 hours of their
flight date.