Frequently Asked Questions about Qatar International Flights

  • 5 months   ago

Just like many countries around the world, the State of Qatar has implemented travel restrictions in an effort to mitigate the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). 

Since March 18, 2020, all inbound flights to the country were stopped, except for transit flights, cargo flights and flights carrying Qatar nationals from other countries. 

The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.

Currently, some restrictions are in place and precautionary measures against COVID-19 are strictly implemented for the safety of all members of the society.

Here are some of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about inbound and outbound flights in Qatar based on details provided by Hamad International Aiport and Discover Qatar websites:

These precautionary measures are based on the latest guidance of the Ministry of Public Health in Qatar.

1. Is HIA still open for international flights?

The airport remains open on a scaled down operations. Currently, entry to the State of Qatar is only permitted to Qatari nationals and holders of a permanent residence permit.

As of June 15th,  the State of Qatar is gradually lifting restrictions amid precautionary measures, it is advised to refer to the Government Communication Office for more information:

https://www.gco.gov.qa/en/

2. What are the health and precautionary measures taken in HIA?

HIA is working closely with the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) to implement the latest government advice and all precautionary measures.  It has implemented stringent cleaning procedures, with all passenger touchpoints being sanitized every 10-15 minutes. All boarding gates and bus gate counters are cleaned after each flight. Most non-essential passenger facilities and retail outlets have been closed. Some Food and Beverage outlets remain operational provided passengers follow social distancing measures. HIA also stopped the use of passenger trains, escalators, moving walkalators and elevators; and have stopped the use of baby strollers and prayer rooms.

Passengers arriving from Iran and Italy are processed in a strategic way to ensure minimal contact with staff and other passengers. Due to the limitation of food and beverage offerings, it is advised that passengers arriving from these destinations to plan accordingly.

3. Can people be dropped off at HIA?

Yes, however, it is strongly advised that departing passengers to check their flight status with the airline. You can refer to HIA’s website for contact details pertaining to all airlines and government entities.

https://dohahamadairport.com/airport-guide

4. Can I still come to HIA if I am not travelling?

No. Only Passengers will valid airline tickets will be permitted in the terminal.

5. Are you screening passengers at HIA?

HIA is continually conducting entry screening for all arriving passengers and crew terminating in Doha on a 24/7 basis. It has installed advanced thermal cameras that can remotely record the body temperature of each passenger. If a passenger is detected to have fever, they are transferred to the special clinic at the airport arrivals side.

Regardless of thermal screening results, all Doha terminating passengers are being quarantined for 14 days.

6. What cleaning measures and procedures are in place to help protect passengers and staff?

The measures implemented at HIA by MoPH in response to Coronavirus (COVID-19) include:

     1. Thermal screening of all arriving and departing passengers and crew at all operational gates (North Node D3 & E3).

     2. Thermal screening cameras across the terminal.

     3. A 24/7 medical clinic at the airport, operated by Ministry of Public Health Qatar.

     4. All transfer passengers are being screened before they board their onward flight.

     5. Airport employees have been provided additional training to protect themselves and others in light of the current

         situation.

     6. The Airport Hotel’s housekeeping team has been specifically briefed on the correct sanitising and cleaning procedures for

          guest rooms and public areas. They have been provided with additional personal protective equipment (PPE) for their

          safety and protection. Rooms and all hotel touchpoints are being cleaned and sanitised regularly.

     7. HIA’s cleaning operations continue to remain active across almost 70 key touchpoints including the terminal and the

          lounges, which are cleaned and sanitised every 10-15 minutes. All boarding gates and bus gate counters are also being       

          cleaned after each flight. HIA is also providing sanitisers to all employees for use as needed.

     8. Passenger trains 1 and 2 have been temporarily suspended and will not be available for passenger use.

     9. Escalators, moving walkalators and elevators are also unavailable for passenger use.

     10. Complementary baby strollers and prayer rooms are also no longer available for passengers.

     11. To limit the number of people at HIA as passenger numbers are below average, there has been a temporary reduction of 40 per cent of staff working onsite, across various areas including food and beverage, retail, and ground services.

7. Is there hand sanitiser stations at HIA? 

Hand sanitisers are provided throughout the airport. You also have access to hand sanitisers and other hygiene related equipment at essential stores like the airport pharmacy and WH Smith.

8. Are retail stores, restaurants and currency exchange still open?

HIA terminal is open and operational, however, in line with MoPH guidelines and direction, most food courts and food outlets have been temporarily closed. Some Food and Beverage (F&B) outlets remain operational with passengers following social distancing measures.

HIA has also suspended retail and service outlets, except some essential stores like the pharmacy. Travelex Foreign Exchange is available at the departure airside only.

9. Do I need to arrive to HIA early for my flight?

It is recommended that you arrive three hours before the departure of your flight. It is also recommended that passengers to check with their airlines on the status of their flight before arriving at HIA.

 

 

 

10. Will the Airport Hotel remain open for business?

The Airport Hotel is still operating as per normal and doing what it can to assist transfer passengers and their families that may not be able to access the country any longer. The hotel is also assisting Qatari passengers returning to the country by preparing them for quarantine. However, facilities such as the gymnasium, pool, squash, virtual golf and spa are closed until further notice.

Passengers are advised to book their room prior to arriving at HIA.

11. Can I still get assistance for my journey through HIA?

 Departing passengers are advised to contact their airlines for assistance during their journey.

12. Are you allowing passengers in from affected countries?

While HIA is allowing transfer passengers to go through HIA, entry to Qatar is only permitted to Qatari nationals and holders of a permanent residence permit. Under the guidance of Ministry of Public Health Qatar (MoPH) and the Qatari Government, HIA follows a strict routine of screening all passengers and crew that arrive at the terminal.

If you are at HIA and experiencing symptoms of cough, fever or shortness of breath, please make yourself known to the nearest HIA official who will be able to support you. If you are not at the airport, please call the Ministry of Public Health’s dedicated hotline: 16000.

13. Can I still travel if I am sick with a cold?

The MoPH has advised against all but necessary travels. It is recommended to follow the advice of the MoPH and the Qatari Government which is available on: https://www.moph.gov.qa/english/Pages/Coronavirus2019.aspx

14. Should I wear a facemask and gloves when I travel?

Wearing a facemask is mandatory at all times. However, they are not required at food courts and restaurants.

15. How is HIA responding to the current situation?

HIA in cooperation with MATAR (HIA) Management and Qatar Airways are working tirelessly to respond to the fast-growing effects of COVID-19. HIA is investing our efforts towards maximizing the health and safety procedures that help our passengers reach their homes safely. Our priority has been to take swift, unprecedented and comprehensive steps to provide the highest levels of health and safety measures to all our passengers and staff.

16. Has public transportation to and from HIA been affected?

The Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC) and Supreme Committee for Crisis Management have suspended the operations of Doha Metro, Metrolink and public transit bus services until further notice. However, taxis and private pick-up services including Uber and Karwa, are still available.

17. Do I need to have a health certificate to travel?

A health certificate is not required, but should you be experiencing symptoms related to COVID 19, please consult a health professional. The MoPH has advised against all but necessary travels. HIA recommends to follow the advice of the MoPH and the Qatari Government which is available on: https://www.moph.gov.qa/english/Pages/Coronavirus2019.aspx

18. Are children required to wear a face mask?

Children over the age of 12 must wear a mask and children over the age of 2 should be encouraged to wear a mask. It is not mandatory for children under the age of 2 to wear a mask.

19. Can I use the prayer room/mosque at the airport?

The government of Qatar has closed all mosques and prayer facilities until further notice.

20. I have asthma must I wear a mask?

There are very few medical conditions where wearing a mask is contradicted. Any passenger raising a query should be directed to MedAire.

21. I am not traveling but assisting my elderly parent/ child can I go to the check in area with them?

Children traveling without a guardian may be accompanied by a parent. Passengers requiring assistance may be accompanied by a family member.

22. Why are flights from infected countries still being allowed to take off and land at HIA?

COVID-19 has been spreading across the world and HIA understands the need for people to be home with their families. With the high number of passengers stranded across global airports, the airport wants to ensure they reach their homes safely. Therefore, it joined hands with Qatar Airways in their campaign #TakingYouHome to host transfer passengers on their way back home and assure them that they are here to take them home safely. Our cargo is also operational to transport essential medical supplies.

23. How can I prepare ahead of my trip?

If you are due to travel soon and worried about how COVID-19 might affect your plans, please check WHO’s advice here: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/travel-advice    

If you are worried about your journey because of a pre-existing health condition, it is recommended that you connect with your airline for the latest information:

https://dohahamadairport.com/airlines/airline-directory

Practicing personal hygiene, social distancing and avoiding contact with people who show symptoms of respiratory infection are the best options against COVID-19.

Please note, the Ministry of Public Health Qatar has also asked people to avoid any unnecessary travel outside Qatar and within the country as well.

24. What if I want to change my travel plans?

It is recommended that you connect with your airline for the latest information: https://dohahamadairport.com/airlines/airline-directory

25. What happens if my travel plans are affected?

If you are travelling to a destination with reported cases, it is recommended that you connect with your airline for the latest information:

https://dohahamadairport.com/airlines/airline-directory

26. Will my flight be cancelled or changed?

It is recommended that you connect with your airline for the most useful information.

https://dohahamadairport.com/airlines/airline-directory

27. Is it still safe to visit the country I am travelling to?

The Ministry of Public Health in Qatar has asked people to avoid any unnecessary travel. Governments across the world are taking various measures depending on the impact that is continually evolving

If you are uncertain about whether to take your flight, it is recommended that you connect with your airline for the most useful information: https://dohahamadairport.com/airlines/airline-directory.

28. Where can I find the most up to date travel advice?

To stay up to date with the latest travel advice, please visit the following websites:

Qatar Airways:

https://www.qatarairways.com/en/travel-alerts/COVID-19-update.html 

Ministry of Public Health Qatar:

https://www.moph.gov.qa/english/Pages/Coronavirus2019.aspx

WHO:

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/travel-advice

29. My airline has cancelled my flight; can I also cancel the service I’ve booked?

It is recommended that you connect with your airline for the latest information: https://dohahamadairport.com/airlines/airline-directory

30. My flight time has changed; who should I notify?

It is recommended that you connect with your airline for the latest information: https://dohahamadairport.com/airlines/airline-directo

31. Are the Lounges at HIA still open?

It is advised to contact the lounge prior to arriving.

32. Is Meet and Assist still available?

As a departing passenger, it is advised to contact your airline should you need assistance during your journey.

33. Is the Porter’s service still available? 

Porter services are still available.

34.  Are the e-gates still open?

E-gates are not functional at the current time.

35. Are your car parks still open?

Short term car park is open, however, long term parking for passengers and the employee car park have been shut down temporarily.

36. Can I still book the Doha stopover package?

Transfer passengers are no longer allowed to exit HIA and enter the State of Qatar.  

37. When will Permanent Residents and tourists be allowed back into Qatar?

As of June 15th,  the State of Qatar is gradually lifting restrictions amid precautionary measures, it is advised that you to refer to the Government Communication Office for more information:

https://www.gco.gov.qa/en/

38. Why are there different measures in place at other airports outside the Qatar?

The measures put in place are determined by the government authorities of each country.

39. I have a medical certificate declaring I don’t have COVID 19, can I return to Qatar as I am a resident?

Entry into the State of Qatar is currently limited to Qatari citizens and holders of a permanent residence permit in the State of Qatar, who will be quarantined for 14 days.

40. My stopover in Doha has been extended, will I get a complementary hotel room?

Please check with your airline.

41. I am currently in quarantine. How can I get my luggage? 

Please advise your respective Guest Facility in-charge to contact Qatar Airways Baggage Service at these number 0097440105578 or 0097440101812 for the delivery of your bags.

42. Are there security restrictions on carrying my own hand sanitizer through Transfers screening?

Passengers are advised to use hand sanitizers throughout their journey. Passengers are allowed to carry a single container not exceeding 350ml of hand sanitizer with them.

Here's everything you need to know about returning to Qatar with hotel quarantine guidelines from Discover Qatar website:

All You Need to Know About Returning to Qatar with Hotel Quarantine Guidelines

Here are the recent updates in Discover Qatar website:

Discover Qatar in Partnership with Qatar Airways Holidays​

Until 31 July arrivals into Qatar are only permitted for Qatari Nationals, their travelling companions, those with a Permanent Resident Card or other exceptionally approved Visa holders. From 1 August pre-approved QID resident permit holders will also be able to travel to Qatar. Discover Qatar is awaiting more details from the relevant authorities about the pre-approval process. 

We will also post updates to Facebook and Instagram and we recommend that you follow Discover Qatar on its social media platforms to receive further updates.

If you need to book more than three rooms, it is advised to call +974 4423 7999 or email Discover Qatar.

QID holders are advised not to book a quarantine package until approval to return to Qatar has been confirmed. Details of the approval process will be published when the eligibility and guidelines are confirmed by the relevant authorities. Please check back regularly to this page for updates.

Source: Doha Hamad Aiport

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