Once international flights resume, passengers will not be required to produce COVID-19 tests prior to entry
Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority on Saturday announced the country was suspending all incoming international flights for two weeks, effective from March 21 (today) till April 4.
In a NOTAM issued by the authority, it informed airmen that “all international passenger, chartered and private aircraft inbound flights to Pakistan” had been suspended. “This is a temporary suspension imposed due to exceptional circumstances,” it added.
The CAA’s NOTAM said that the only exception to the inbound flight ban would be “diplomatic, special/cargo flights” but these would be subjected to health screenings upon their arrival to Pakistan. “They can also be subjected to isolation/quarantine as per advice of the health professionals,” it added.
The CAA said that once international flights resumed in Pakistan, the government would not require incoming passengers to provide tests proving they were negative for COVID-19.
Pakistan International Airlines also announced that it was cancelling all international flights for one week. “PIA is cancelling all its international flights in accordance with the directives of Government of Pakistan effective from 8 PM March 21, 2020 till March 28, 2020,” it said in a posting on Twitter.
On Tuesday, the CAA had issued a notification stating that all international travelers coming to Pakistan would be required to provide medical results proving they were not infected with the novel coronavirus. The move was met with criticism because of a shortage of testing kits in most countries globally.
Islamabad’s decision to suspend international flights comes as Pakistan’s total confirmed cases of COVID-19 hit 666, with three deaths. Globally, more than 278,000 people have contracted the virus, while over 11,500 have died.