On 27 March 2020, 31 Bahraini citizens arrived in Doha on a Qatar Airways flight from Iran. As Bahrain does not allow commercial flights from Qatar, the State of Qatar inquired with officials in Bahrain as to how Qatar could assist in the travelers’ efforts to return home.
Qatar offered to fly the Bahraini citizens on a private charter flight to Bahrain at no expense to the individuals or the government of Bahrain. The government of Bahrain declined this option. Bahraini officials have said they will send a flight for them at some undefined point in the future.
As the health and safety of all individuals in Qatar, and around the world, is paramount at this time, the Ministry of Public Health has administered coronavirus tests for the 31 Bahraini citizens and provided them with accommodation in a quarantine hotel at no cost to them or the government of Bahrain. Those testing positive will receive free and full health care at once. Those testing negative will continue to observe self-isolation for two weeks at a quarantined hotel, at no expense to them.
The Government Communications Office (GCO) statement says:
"It is our hope that by the end of this two-week quarantine, the government of Bahrain will allow their citizens to return home. If not, we will continue to provide them with hospitality and care."
The State of Qatar welcomes the decision of the Kingdom of Bahrain to allow the Bahraini citizens who were transiting through Doha from the Islamic Republic of Iran to return home. We wish that the Kingdom of Bahrain had accepted the State of Qatar’s offer to fly the Bahraini citizens home on a private charter flight, instead of prolonging their waiting time.
The State of Qatar stands ready to play its humanitarian role during this global crisis. It is unfortunate that the Kingdom of Bahrain has launched allegations, false accusations and politicized the humanitarian situation of its citizens attempting to transit home. Allowing them to return home, as requested by the State of Qatar to the relevant authorities in the Kingdom of Bahrain, is a step in the right direction.
As the health and safety of these Bahraini citizens is paramount at this time, the Ministry of Public Health in the State of Qatar will communicate with its counterpart in the Kingdom of Bahrain, to inform them of the results of the coronavirus tests that have been conducted. Qatar wishes the Bahraini citizens good health and safety.
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