Entry to Qatar has been temporarily suspended for people from Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria and Thailand.
The temporary bans starts from 9 of March till further notice. The Government Communications Office (GCO) said that in addition to Qatar Airways' announcement regarding flights to and from Italy, entry to Qatar is temporarily suspended for all those intending to travel from certain countries, as of Monday.
The decision comes as a preventive measure due to the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19) worldwide.
In a statement, the GCO said Sunday that the step comes in line with Qatar's efforts to take all necessary preventive measures to limit the spread of coronavirus.
"The decision affects all individuals intending to enter from these countries, including visas upon arrival, those with a residence or work permit, and temporary visitors." Qatar has urged all citizens and residents to avoid all but essential travel at this time.
The statement said that these precautionary measures may be subject to further updates based on the latest guidance of the national health authorities and international organisations on the spread of coronavirus, in order to ensure the safety of all residents of Qatar.
Following the decision work visas of up to 40,000 Nepali migrant workers put on hold. Since Qata is a major destination for Nepali migrants and a vital source of remittance for Nepal, the ban will affect badly.
According to Ministry of Labor and Employment, there are over 400,000 Nepali migrant workers employed in various sectors in Qatar. However, with the spread of the coronavirus, the Qatari government has temporarily suspended work visas of up to 40,000 Nepali migrants, who were all set to fly to Qatar, until further notice.
Kumar Dahal, director general of the Department of Foreign Employment, said, “We’ll hold discussions with authorities concerned before deciding on the possible steps that need to be taken.”
Nepali airline companies have also halted service to Qatar. “Nepal Airlines has suspended all its flight to Doha,” said Archana Khadka, spokesperson for Nepal Airlines Corporation.
Himalaya Airlines has also completely halted its service to Qatar, effective from today after it received the notice from the Qatari government, said Vijay Shrestha, vice-president of the company.
With inputs from The Himalayan Times and Gulf Times