Thursday August 18, 2022

UK red list restrictions: Thousands of Pakistanis cut short their stay

April 08, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Thousands of Pakistanis who travelled from the United Kingdom since January last, will return by Thursday evening after cutting short their stay here to avoid red list limitations surprisingly imposed by the UK authorities last week. According to a BBC report, as many as 31,979 Pakistanis travelled from the UK to Pakistan since January while ignoring stay at home orders from the British authorities. On reaching Pakistan, they departed to different cities, mainly Mirpur (Azad Kashmir), Lahore, Gujar Khan, Gujranwala and other areas. According to the available data, a little over 10,000 of them would be able to land in the UK in 13 special flights of PIA and other routine flights of the British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Turkish Airlines and Gulf Airlines from April 4 to evening of April 8 (Thursday) from Islamabad.

They are paying Rs226,000 to Rs257,000 one-way fare, which is more than double of the formal fare for the economy class, to travel on PIA’s special flights, chartered by the national flag carrier.

An official of PIA claimed that the fare at this particular time is much lower than that of other airlines.

The British Airways and Virgin Atlantic are also taking bulk of passengers from Pakistan to the UK by operating daily flights. The two airlines would also be operating at least three flights from Islamabad on Thursday.

After 4am on April 9, no Pakistani passenger unless holding British or Irish passports and residency permission would be allowed to land at the UK airports. Those holding British or Irish passports and residency permission and reaching the UK after the deadline would have to stay in quarantine in any designated hotel for 10 days while paying 1,750 pounds per person charges. The charges do not include 210 pounds charges on Covid-19 tests fee per person. The passengers violating restriction of 10-day stay in hotel rooms would be fined 10,000 pounds.