CAA issues notification designating three travel categories in bid to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on Tuesday announced that passengers from 23 countries would be allowed to enter Pakistan without having to secure a negative COVID-19 test prior to commencement of travel.
In a notification, the CAA divided foreign travelers into three categories—A, B, and C—highlighting the criteria they would need to meet to enter Pakistan. It said that the new directives applies to all scheduled and charter airline operators; ground handling agents; private operators; and authorized flight permission agents.
It said that Category A comprised international travelers from countries that did not require any COVID-19 PCR tests before entering Pakistan. The listed countries comprise those that have largely eradicated community transmission of the virus—Australia, Cote d’Ivoire, China, Cuba, Fiji, Finland, Ghana, Iceland, Iraq, Madagascar, Maldives, Myanmar, New Zealand, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Togo, Vietnam, and Zambia.
According to the CAA, any country that is not listed under Category A would automatically fall into Category B, which requires travelers to secure a negative COVID-19 test no earlier than 96 hours prior to commencement of travel.
Category C, said the CAA notification, currently includes no countries. If a nation is added to it, travelers from it would need to secure a negative COVID-19 test no earlier than 96 hours prior to commencement of travel as well as a mandatory RT-PCR test upon arrival in Pakistan.
Pakistan on Wednesday reported its total confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus had hit 492,594, with 10,461 deaths and 448,393 recoveries. According to the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC), of the 33,740 active cases in the country, 2,243 are in critical condition.