Qatar Airways has today announced that they would require a negative Covid-19 RT-PCR test from seven additional countries effective August 13, 2020.
Passengers that don’t have a negative test performed in the past 72 hours and who do no consent Qatar Airways to have access to the test results will be denied boarding.
You can access Qatar’s page for Covid-19 response here.
Here’s the announcement from Qatar to affected passengers:
At Qatar Airways, we continue our commitment to getting you safely where you need to be. Starting from 13 August 2020, we have a new medical requirement applicable for all our passengers travelling from select countries*.
When flying with us, you will be required to:
Provide a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test result issued within 72 hours prior to your flight departure from one of the authorised laboratories. Children less than 12 years old who are travelling with family members are exempted from the test. To view the list of approved laboratories, please click here. Complete and submit a consent form at check-in along with the negative test result. For ease, you can download the form and complete it ahead of your travel. Please click here to download the form.
Affected countries are Bangladesh, Brazil, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Philippines, and Sri Lanka. When flying with us, you will be required to: If you are unable to provide the negative test result and consent form at check-in, we will not be able to proceed with your flight boarding. When you travel with us, you can expect the highest standards of hygiene and the latest security measures throughout your entire journey, whether on board or at our state-of-the-art hub, Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar.
Here are all the countries where this test is now required:
RT-PCR Medical Test Requirement
For the safety of all passengers, effective 13 August, Qatar Airways requires passengers travelling from specific airports in the below countries to present a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR medical test result when checking in.
In our current network, these countries are Bangladesh, Brazil, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Philippines, and Sri Lanka. They will also be required for passengers travelling with Qatar Airways from India, Nepal, Nigeria and Russia, when we resume our services to these countries.
Tests must be issued within 72 hours before departure, from laboratories that are approved by Qatar Airways, and paid for at the passenger’s expense.
Here’s the consent form: Download (PDF, 217KB) Conclusion
It is quite telling that this RT-PCR test is not required if traveling on Qatar Airways from the United States despite very high Covid-19 infections.
And I am not quite sure what these Covid-19 tests are supposed to prove? You did the test two days ago, but may have been infected already at that time (won’t show up on the results immediately), you may get infected between when the test was performed and when you got to the airport, or you may get infected at the airport, during the flights, at the transit point, or upon arrival at the destination.
There are also no guarantees that you have laboratories available that can perform the test within the required time frame, and if they do, it is likely $$$.
These requirements for travel, and transit and arrival bans are in constant fluctuation at the moment. I would not buy any advance travel on any airline to any destination more than a few days out.