Qatar Airways has temporarily suspended any new bookings from passengers in the United Arab Emirates, South Africa, and Rwanda until February 5th. According to the airline, the UAE suspension was implemented due to UK government concerns. Although a tweet from the airline did not elaborate on what those ‘concerns’ were, it is understood tens of thousands of coronavirus cases in Britain have been a direct result of travel between the United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom, reports Doha News.
“The UK and other nations decided to ban travel between their nations and the United Arab Emirates over COVID19 spread concerns, but specifically over concerns of the more infectious strain of the virus which was identified in South Africa. Just last week, Denmark confirmed their only cases of the South African strain were from ‘infected travellers who had arrived from Dubai,” aviation analyst Alex Macheras told Doha News.
Exceptions to the suspension include GCC citizens and residents who are returning to other GCC countries, the company said, adding that bookings for regional travel can still take place.