Qatar Airways passengers travelling from South Africa, Zambia and Mozambique will no longer have to double-up with masks AND face shields.
Last week Qatar Airways’ announcement that passengers travelling on the airline’s flights from South Africa, Zambia and Mozambique were required to wear maskes, as well as face shields, sparked an outcry.
All three countries are on Qatar’s green list, and this bizarre request for extra PPE based on the region passengers are travelling from, outraged many frequent flyers to say the least.
The airline had become one of South Africa’s favourite airlines during the pandemic. Qatar did not stop flying to South Africa for the most part of the previous two years and could be relied on by passengers needing to get to and from South Africa during a time when many airlines had suspended SA routes.
QATAR AIRWAYS: OUTCRY OVER EXTRA FACE SHIELDS
Passengers from South Africa, Mozambique and Zambia were required to wear an face shield. This was in addition to the airline’s requirement for face masks to be worn by all passengers.
The requirement was put in place for passengers from just three African countries, sparking an outcry from passengers and potential customers who said they would not make use of the airline’s services in light of the discriminatory requirement, which they labelled as “racist”.
The issue came to light on 15 February when journalist Carlien du Plessis tweeted a photo of herself wearing the transparent visor and mask on board a Qatar flight. Du Plessis claimed it was mandatory for passengers on board the flight to wear both face masks and visors.
Just three days after Du Plessis’s tweet, the regulation was scrapped. A statement on Qatar’s website which stated that passengers on flights from the three countries were obliged to wear a face mask and a visor was removed on Saturday 19 February.
QATAR AIRWAYS DOES A U-TURN
“Qatar Airways confirms that face-shields are not mandatory on board any of our flights. Face shields were required as a short-term, precautionary measure that is no longer in operation. Passengers will still be required to wear face masks on all flights to ensure the continued safety of our passengers and crew.” Qatar Airways’ PR agency told Travel News.
By: Lorne Philpot