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Greece suspends flights from Qatar after 12 test positive

written by Sandy Milne | June 5, 2020
Air to Air Shot, Qatar 787 Ln 58 (Australian Aviation archives)

Greece has suspended flights to and from Qatar for two weeks, after 12 individuals aboard flight QR203 tested positive for COVID-19.

The Airbus A350-900 was carrying 91 passengers from Doha to the Greek capital on 1 June, when routine health checks revealed the passengers were ill.

According to a statement released by the country’s Civil Protection Ministry the following day, the affected individuals include two Greeks from Australia, nine Pakistani nationals, and one Japanese citizen.

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“We also announce that after the above epidemiological data, flights to and from Qatar will be suspended until June 15, 2020,” the ministry’s statement read.

Those testing positive were transferred to state-operated quarantine facilities for a period of two weeks, while other travellers aboard QR203 will stay isolated for seven days.

Qatar Airways has insisted that passengers testing positive transferred through to Athens on connecting flights.

“Upon arrival in Doha and before boarding the flight to Athens, all passengers were screened and tested according to the procedures and established health protocols and were found suitable to continue their journey,” a spokesperson told the Greek City Times.

Greece began easing restrictions on 4 May following an intense lockdown. The country has been eager to jumpstart its vital tourism sector, appealing to British officials to join in with the UK’s so-called “air bridges” plan. 

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While Greece publicly announced the flight restrictions, both tracking sites flightradar24.com and flightaware.com seem to show another QR203 flight operated on 3 June. Qatar’s website also indicates that flights scheduled for 5 June and 8 June are not yet cancelled.

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