Wednesday April 17, 2024

Coronavirus: Curbs on inbound flights to Pakistan extended

CAA imposes restrictions till March 18 after Pakistan's coronavirus cases move past 600,000

By Tariq Abul Hasan
March 13, 2021
An AFP file photo of the Islamabad International Airport.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on Saturday notified the extension of curbs imposed on inbound flights to Pakistan.

The CAA, in a notification, said  the restrictions would be imposed till March 18. The development comes after the country's coronavirus cases surged past 600,000.

Pakistan's coronavirus cases have moved up to 602,536 since the first case reported last February, with 13,476 people succumbing to the virus and a positivity ratio of 5.5%. In the last 24 hours, 2,338 cases were recorded, and 46 patients died due to the disease.

Punjab, after the UK virus variant, started spreading across the province, imposed new restrictions that will start Saturday night.

The CAA, on March 1, had notified a new travel advisory for inbound flights, private, and chartered planes. The aviation authority reduced the countries in Category A from 24 to 15, while the ban on passengers from countries in Category C remained intact.

Australia, Bhutan, China, Fiji, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Myanmar, New Zealand, and Sri Lanka are among the 21 countries included in Category A, according to the notification.

Meanwhile, Botswana, Brazil, Columbia, Ghana, Ireland, United Kingdom, Zambia, and The Netherlands are among the 15 countries included in Category C.

It is pertinent to mention here that the passengers from countries included in Category A do not require a COVID-19 PCR test before landing in Pakistan.

Passengers from countries in Category B need to have a negative test, not less than 72 hours old.

As per the notification, those living in Category C countries will have to obtain special permission from the government of Pakistan if they wish to travel to the country.