Home Latest News Pakistan Extends COVID-19 Restrictions on Inbound Flights

Pakistan Extends COVID-19 Restrictions on Inbound Flights

by Newsweek Pakistan

File photo. Farooq Naeem—AFP

CAA emphasizes that all passengers arriving in the country will be subjected to testing and quarantine per NCOC guidelines

Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on Monday extended till Sept. 30 restrictions already imposed on inbound flights in a bid to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The CAA had, on Aug. 13, issued an advisory banning all entry from countries under Category C, and announcing stringent testing and quarantine measures for all incoming travelers as the country dealt with the fourth wave of COVID-19. In its latest advisory, the regulator said all the previously intimated measures had been extended till Sept. 30.

“All Pakistanis whose return to Pakistan from Category C countries is scheduled till Sept. 30 may travel to Pakistan without grant of a special exemption and while in possession of valid negative PCR test result conducted within 72 hours prior to commencement of travel to Pakistan, subject to conformance with all other applicable rules/regulations,” it said. “Inbound travel to Pakistan from Category C countries for all other passengers will continue to remain banned,” it added.

The CAA has divided all countries into three categories—A, B, or C—with visitors from states under Category A exempted from mandatory coronavirus testing prior to commencement of travel. Travelers from countries designated Category B require a negative PCR test obtained no earlier than 72 hours prior to travel and must spend at least 10 days in quarantine at their place of residence upon their arrival. Category C countries—Bangladesh, Ecuador, Guatemala, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mexico, Morocco, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, South Africa, Thailand, Tunisia—face a complete ban on inbound travel.

In its advisory from earlier this month, the CAA had also reduced the minimum age of travelers requiring PCR tests, mandating passengers six and above to secure a negative result prior to commencement of travel. “All arriving passengers of age 6 years and above will be tested through rapid antigen testing upon arrival in Pakistan,” it had added.

Pakistan is currently in the midst of a fourth wave of the pandemic, driven largely by the Delta variant that was originally identified in India. On Tuesday, 3,838 new infections and 118 deaths were reported, with the National Command and Operation Center saying the national positivity ratio now stood at 7.4 percent. Authorities stress that vaccination is the only means of ending the pandemic and have urged citizens to get themselves inoculated as soon as possible.

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