Do you need a negative PCR to board Qatar Airways?

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To board Qatar Airways flights during the COVID-19 pandemic, it was necessary for the travellers to administer a PCR test and produce proof of it at the time of flight booking. As per the WHO’s policy, this step was taken to ensure the health and safety of everyone travelling internationally as well as prevent the spread of the virus worldwide. Therefore, only the passengers who were able to produce a negative PCR test were allowed to board the flight to their destination.

However, as of today, no such restriction of the sort persists. One can easily travel to any destination with the Qatar Airways’ flight network without the need to undergo a PCR test. None of the airlines in the world have this policy practicing now.

When it comes to the type of test accepted by Qatar Airways, PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) tests were considered to be more reliable and widely accepted as compared to Rapid Antigen Tests. As a result, the airline only accepted PCR test results from the travellers booking their flights.

PCR test:

In order to regulate the global health and safety standards during the pandemic, Qatar Airways necessarily required the passengers to provide a COVID-19 PCR test result. PCR is a type of molecular diagnostic test that works by detecting the presence of the virus’s genetic material on the sample obtained from a person’s respiratory system; either through a nasal swab or throat swab.

If the test came out as negative, such a person was allowed to board the plane. On the other hand, a traveller with a positive PCR test result for Covid-19 was denied boarding.

The reason Qatar Airways opted for this testing technique was because of the fact that it is one of the highly accurate and reliable mediums for detecting the presence of COVID-19 in a person.

Timing of the Test:

The PCR test is to be taken within a specific timeframe before one can board his/her Qatar Airways flight. While the exact timing may vary as per your individual travel route and destinations, the test should not be older than 48 to 72 hours before flight departure. A test older than that was not accepted by the airline.

Official Documentation:

In addition to having a negative PCR test result, the traveller was required to possess valid proof of it in the form of a medical certificate or a document. The medical document should specify the;

  • Time of test.
  • Date of test.
  • Testing facility.
  • Passenger’s details.
  • Validity of the test result.
  • Type of test and any other relevant information.

Passengers were allowed to carry either a printed copy of this document or an e-copy on their phones/tables.

Testing Facility Accreditation:

In order to regulate the testing standards for all passengers, Qatar Airways issued a list of credible testing centres where one can go and undergo their PCR test for travel. That’s why any sort of DIY or self-administered tests were not eligible to be submitted to the airline for travel purposes.

Verification at Check-In:

As there was strict monitoring by the airline, passengers’ test results were often verified during the check-in phase and/or during the boarding process. Airline staff was trained to verify the documents first to ensure compliance with the requirements.

So, if you are booking a flight with the airline or modifying your flight details through the Qatar Airways manage booking platform, you no longer need to have a PCR test done for travelling.

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