The British Ambassador to Qatar John Wilks issued a statement after the UK Government decision's that Qatar will be added to the UK's 'red list' travel ban countries starting 19 March 2021 (4 am), after many people expressed their concern about this decision:
"PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM JON WILKS CMG, HER MAJESTY'S AMBASSADOR TO THE STATE OF QATAR
As many of you will have seen the UK Government has announced that effective from 4 am (GMT) on Friday 19 March, Qatar will be added to the UK's red list' travel ban countries. This means that from this time, there will no longer be direct passenger flights from Qatar to the UK. British, trish and third country nationals with residence rights arriving from Qatar will be required to quarantine in a Government approved facility for 10 days know how unwelcome this news is from the questions we have received in the past few hours from UK, Qatari and other nationalities. My own family's plans have been impacted by this decision, so I understand where these questions are coming from.
The UK's decision is driven by data. It is about protecting the gains we are making in the UK from our successful vaccination campaign and thereby saving thousands of lives. It is also about learning a lesson from the experience of Qatar and other countries of strengthening borders as the domestic spread of the virus is brought under control. Above all, we want to lessen the risk of importation of variants of concern that could undermine the immunity built up by the vaccines. Such a disaster would set us back from regaining our freedom to live a normal life.
The UK Government has set out a roadmap to get the UK out of lockdown by 21 June. That remains on track and we will do our best to keep it that way. So much depends upon our continued efforts and patience to build and hold on to the gains from the vaccination campaign. We are working on ways to reopen air travel in a way that keeps us all safe, taking advantage of the rollout of vaccines in UK, Qatar and elsewhere. There are lots of complications, as not everybody has yet had the chance to receive a vaccine. So developing a safe and fair policy will take time. UK policy on travel is under constant review and we are in close contact with the Qatari authorities on managing the risks we face. I feel very lucky to be in Qatar during the time of COVID. But I know that the restoration of passenger flights from Qatar to UK is very important for many as it is for my family and me, after all the restrictions of the past year and particularly as the weather gets warmer. This will be at the front of our minds as my team and I work with colleagues in UK and Qatar on the next steps.
If you have any further questions after reading this guidance, you can contact our consular team for further advice by calling +974 4496 2000 and pressing option 2. Or if you have booked travel after this Friday at dam GMT, I would recommend that you contact your airline in the first instance. We are winning against this virus, but it is fighting back. We cannot relax our effort now. Wishing you all a safe and healthy 2021."
My message following the UK Government's announcement that Qatar will be added to the UK's 'red list' travel ban countries.— Jon Wilks (@JonWilksFCDO) March 17, 2021
Full guidance on what a UK red listing means can be found here: https://t.co/G2JdUcjKtL pic.twitter.com/JbiUmvwTqv
There have been three travel updates from the British Embassy in Qatar on 16 March, 2021.
According to a tweet on the British Embassy in Qatar Twitter page, starting from 4 am on 19 March 2021, direct flights from Qatar to England are prohibited.
(1/2) From 4am on 19 March, direct flights from Qatar to England are prohibited. Visitors who have been in or transited through Qatar in the previous 10 days cannot enter England. #UKinQatar@FCDOtravelGovUK pic.twitter.com/KathJmcHJA— UK in Qatar 🇬🇧🇶🇦 (@ukinqatar) March 16, 2021
Visitors who have been in Qatar or transited through Qatar in the previous 10 days will not be allowed to enter the UK because Qatar has been placed on the 'UK Coronavirus (COVID-19): red list travel ban countries'.
(2/2) British and Irish nationals and third country nationals with residence rights in the UK arriving in England from Qatar will be required to quarantine in a hotel. (‘Summary’ page)— UK in Qatar 🇬🇧🇶🇦 (@ukinqatar) March 16, 2021
Sign up for email alerts for this travel advice:https://t.co/2DVA2Tsvtl
For British and Irish nationals, along with third-country nationals with residence rights in the UK arriving in England from Qatar, they will be required to quarantine in a UK government recommended hotel for 10 days.
Source: British Embassy in Qatar Twitter; UK government website
Cover image credit: Shutterstock
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