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Qatar Airways demand for African passengers to wear face shields causes uproar

Qatar Airways airplane. Picture: File

Qatar Airways airplane. Picture: File

Published Feb 17, 2022

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Award-winning airline Qatar Airways has demanded that African passengers travelling on their flights need to use a face shield and a mask while boarding the flight, during and while disembarking their flights.

The rule, however, only applies to passengers that are from South Africa, Zambia and Mozambique.

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On the airline’s website under the “On board” drop down menu, the airline clearly states: “Wear a face shield: Passengers travelling from South Africa, Zambia and Mozambique are required to wear face shields while boarding, throughout the flight and when disembarking”.

A picture of the rule from Qatar Airways website.

Other passengers on the flight are only required to wear a face mask.

During the boarding process the airline states that they have modified their boarding process to limit contact between passengers and their staff.

“Please pay attention to boarding requirements at your gate. Passengers travelling from South Africa, Zambia & Mozambique will be provided with, and are required to wear, face shields prior to boarding”.

A screengrab of the boarding process on Qatar Airways.

The airline’s demands have ruffled feathers on social media with tweeps saying that the airline is being “ridiculous” and “racist”.

When Twitter users asked the airline about the rule, the airline responded saying: “Hi there. Kindly note that our safety regulations is in co-relation with the international safety organizations and is regularly updated based on global situations. You may refer to the link to view our latest safety measures”.

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@ShkAnwaarTech tweeted: “Why by only QR? Other airlines have not enforced this rule onto these 3 countries pax? South Africans have had enough apartheid already, they don't need anymore of it. Seriously disappointed by QR, my favorite airline”.

Other tweeps commented that they will not be using the airline any longer.

@richarddettmer said: “I won’t be flying with them until this ridiculous rule is revoked. Makes no sense and is not consistent. Shame on you Qatar Airways”.

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