Qatar Only Allowing Citizens To Enter – But Qatar Airways Still Operating


Qatar has suspended all incoming flights for 14 days from Wednesday, 18 March 2020. Despite this, Qatar Airways plans to keep operating. Cargo and transit flights are excluded from the suspension.

Qatar is banning foreigners from entering the country for 14 days. Photo: Qatar Airways

In a statement provided to Simple Flying, Qatar Airways said;

“From Wednesday only Qatari nationals will be allowed entry to the State of Qatar. Passengers with onward connections will still be accepted for travel with Qatar Airways across our global network. Cargo remains unaffected.”


A conflicted and confused message

This does seem to be potentially conflicting information. However, it may merely be a case of miscommunication. It appears Doha is closing its borders to incoming passengers. Transiting passengers remain unaffected. In this case, a transit passenger would be defined as a passenger who stays airside.

Let’s face it, the bulk of passenger traffic through Doha’s Hamad International Airport is transit traffic. And the bulk of passengers traveling to or through Qatar are on Qatar Airways.

Qatari citizens will be allowed to enter the country. However, they will have to undergo self-isolation for 14 days.

The decision to ban incoming passengers was part of a wider suite of measures announced to help protect Qatar. Photo: Qatar Airways

So the conclusion that you could draw from the announcement, that Qatar Airways is essentially shutting down, is incorrect. Whilst there will be some service reductions and cancellations, for most Qatar Airways’ passengers passing through Hamad International Airport it will be business as usual.

Well sort of. Who knows what awaits at the final destination?

Decision part of a suite of directives from Qatari Emir on weekend

The edict came yesterday, Sunday, 15 March 2020, from Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani. He issued several instructions. They include the travel ban and a USD$23.5 billion stimulus package designed to shield the local economy from the worst effects of the current crisis. On the ground in Doha, all public transport is ceasing and the local kids will be schooled from home. No doubt the kids will be delighted.


In a statement following a meeting of Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Crisis Management, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani said;

“With regards to Qatari students located outside the country, we advise them to adhere to the policies in place in the study country and Qatar embassies will provide any of the necessary services, including facilitating the procedures for return to Qatar if the need arises, and we also call upon citizens and residents in the State of Qatar to avoid travel during the coming period.”

Qatar Airways CEO, Akbar Al-Baker made some statements last month that have come back to bite him. Photo: Qatar Airways

The tough line from the Qatari Emir is at odds with statements by the boss of Qatar Airways, Akbar Al-Baker. He had said in an interview with Bloomberg;

“During the incubation period, they say that this virus can be transmitted. There is no scientific evidence for that. It is just, you know, a fear factor.

“For them to do what they did to the Chinese cabin crew … whoever goes to China cannot now go anywhere else in these countries for the next 14 days. They don’t realize the operational impact it would create on an airline.”

The comments were made last month and are getting a fresh burst of life given the current deteriorating situation. The Qatar CEO makes a valid point when raising the operational issues travel bans have on an airline.

But he probably has more situational awareness of the problem now.

The announcement is a little bit too clever

This recent announcement concerning Qatar Airways is almost too clever by half. Banning incoming flights makes for a dramatic statement. But it appears all that is being banned are foreigners who plan on entering into Qatar. The vast majority of Qatar Airways passengers will pass through Doha’s Hamad International Airport as per usual.

Qatar Airways advises that the safety, security and good health of their passengers and employees is their highest priority. If you have impending travel with Qatar Airways, the airline advises you to keep an eye on Qatar’s real-time flight status for the latest information


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John Kim

Still confusing….
The employees working at HIA come across with the transit passengers every day, so how can Qatar Airways justify that No staff is Affected and All are safe till now!!

Suresh Babu Gali

I would like to travel Bangalore from Qatar on 23rd of March and may I know the availability of seats please

Ruheena shaikh

Hi regarding India to fly when will going to opne it please

Ruheena shaikh

I have my releative he stack in March 10 he have flight back to mumbai 11 March until know he ddnt find


Am from Nigeria, planning to travel to Qatar by Friday is it still possible

Ahliya saleem

I do not know write the English.. I am trying for telling my feelings


Very confusing indeed.clarity is needed.i am already trying to contact my travel agent to adjust a qatar flight for more than a week…..


Extremely confusing as other countries including Nepal have closed their borders – so flyers’ are faced with ‘no entry’ at their final destination point. So i don’t get it, Qatar Airways is still flying to countries that are closed!

Zuhair Anwar

The announcement simply means that ‘Residents’ won’t be allowed to enter but citizens would be.
All foreign workers and their families are called residents.

Doreen Whitty

Flight QA 20from Dublin Ireland to Doha 21/03/2020 .
Flight QA 806 to NARITA


My daughter and her partner have arrived in the Grand Hyatt Doha today, after flying with Qatar Airlines booked through Kuoni, to find the hotel is on complete lockdown and they can’t leave their room. Why on earth were they allowed to fly ? Surely Kuoni or Qatar airlines were aware of the situation – I’m so worried


planning to travel to Belgium on the 28 March is it possible I’m in Namibia

pete davies

I have a transit connection April 15 onward to Cardiff coming from Bangkok, unsure of changes


So can one leave Qatar to enter another country such as south Africa


Adeola if you are not a Qatari citizen you won’t be able to enter the country. If you just have a connecting flight then you will be airside meaning you won’t be allowed to leave or exit the boarding gates until your next flight arrives should u be going to another country from Qatar. If you are a Qatari citizen then only will you be allowed to enter the country under the condition that you go under self isolation.

Choge cyrus

Would like to know about passengers that had went for live….will they be allowed to be back

Margaret Pritchard

I am flying from London to Perth, WA. Will I still be able e to reach my destination next week?

Jobish Jose

I have booked ticket from MLA to CCJ on 06 April.Please update the status of flight. I can travel or not.


I have flight on March 31 from Atlanta to doha. And I have connection flight to Ethiopia. Is it available let me know due to corona virus.

Patrick Shute

Hi all I want to do is request a voucher for future travel cant get any answers this is not good customer service please sort these problems out Qatar. Thank you.

Rita Cassar

Hi my name is Rita Cassar Im in Australia and my flight is on d 6 April from Melbourne to Malta stop in Doha for few hrs in airport for conection can u please tell me latest information on my flights thank u

Irene Reeves

I’m booked to travel from Perth to Edinburgh via Doha on 28 March. Can I bring my flight forward to leave as soon as possible? I have been locked out of the Qatar Airways website for no reason.


qatar airways


qatar airways is ensuring the safety of its cabin crew who are still required to fly to hot spot countries. The cabin crew are not wearing masks, they’re stressed. The airline is effectively putting them on the frontline. deeply concerning.

Conceicao John D’souza

Hi I am going back to Uk on 22 March hope my flight will be ok, pls keep me up to date thanks

Conceicao John D’souza

Hi I am going back to Uk from goa on 22 March hope my flight will be ok, pls keep me up to date thanks


My husband, from Scotland, works on a rig offshore Qatar. If he can get off the rig, are there any flights leaving Qatar at all? Thanks

Patrick Shute

Please Qatar airways give us some information on how we can contact qatar offices to request a voucher for future travel or a refund.Thank you


my friend is american citizen he is flying from Amritsar India to JFK NY on 21 Saturday 2020 is qatar airway operates or what

Shiela may

Can i enter doha hamad international flight is connecting going to kuwait.and i’m from in the phillipines and my flight is this coming on april3,2020…i hope you will answer my question


I’m in bosnia now. Originally my flight was on the 6 May, which they have moved it to 8.Australia is saying come home asap. Which I would like to do.I have e-mailed Qatar 6 times no reply. Australia embesy in sarayevo closed. Don’t know what do do anymore I’m totally lost for words no help no answers. Don’t know who to contact from bosnia for help getting back home.


Bit confuse I book Qatar airways from Ghana ,transitting in doha to singapore on the 1st of april want to know if my flight is cancelled or not

aa bb

Advice for those whose QR flights were cancelled by QR – On QR website, response rate appears to have improved (seem to be handled by a Call Centre in an Asian country). Please read the fine print. Weigh your options carefully when choosing either refund or a voucher for future travel. In case of the ‘refund’ option, QR will return applicable taxes, but will return the non-refundable booking fee (in my case, as I booked online, it was USD 75), despite the fact that QR itself cancelled the flight. If you choose the ‘voucher’ option, QR will still keep the booking fee, but will waive it when you re-book future travel with the ‘voucher’. Also, if you used miles or cash-plus-miles, and you choose the ‘refund’ option, your miles will be credited back to your mileage account, but any expiring miles expire on original expiry date.

aa bb

Correction in my immediately preceding post – “but will return the non-refundable booking fee”

aa bb

2nd try to correct my prior post (sorry, I finally figured out that the NOT gets deleted when typed between special symbols) – “but will, NOT return the non-refundable booking fee”.
P.S. – Hopefully the word ‘not’ goes thru’ this time, with the capitalisation instead of symbols.