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Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Pakistan relaxes Covid-19 restrictions for incoming flights

Health and testing protocols for inbound air travel for implementation with effect from November 5 will remain in place.

By: PTI | Islamabad |
Updated: November 4, 2021 10:45:26 am
Pakistan announced to further relax restrictions on the incoming flights by allowing them to operate at full capacity from next week. (File photo for representation via AP)

Pakistan on Wednesday announced to further relax restrictions on the incoming flights by allowing them to operate at full capacity from next week.

The National Command and Operation Center (NCOC), the top authority battling the coronavirus, after its meeting in Islamabad revised the travel advisory following the enforcement of obligatory vaccination for inbound travel in Pakistan with effect from October 1.

It said in a statement that the “inbound Air Traffic will operate at full quantum with effect from November 10” as a downward trend has been witnessed in all COVID indicators across the globe owing to mass vaccination undertaken by various countries.

It said that nine countries including Armenia, Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Iraq, Mexico, Mongolia, Slovenia, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago and Ukraine have been placed in Category C due to high positivity, high death rate and low vaccination.

International Travelers from countries in Category C are restricted and only allowed as guided by NCOC decisions.

Russia, Iran, Ethiopia, Germany, Philippines and Afghanistan have been placed in high-risk for continuous monitoring in wake of high disease indicators but no travel restriction has been imposed on them, according to the NCOC.

All other countries are in Category B and there are no inbound travel restrictions.

However, health and testing protocols for inbound air travel for implementation with effect from November 5 will remain in place.

They include 100 per cent vaccination for all inbound passengers and all passengers of 06 years age and above should be in possession of a negative PCR test report (max 72 hours old) before boarding.

Also, 100 percent rapid antigen tests (RAT) on arrival at airports for all inbound passengers has been abolished unless the passengers were travelling via direct flight from Category ‘C’ and high-risk countries.

Selective flights and symptomatic passengers from Category B countries will also undergo RAT.

Testing protocols are also applicable for all inbound border terminals less Afghanistan but the Afghan Inbound pedestrians can travel to Pakistan through Border Terminals without vaccination certificate or PCR.

However, they will undergo stringent testing and quarantine protocols as already emplaced.

The restrictions were eased as Pakistan reported 561 new cases in the last 24 hours, taking the number of confirmed cases to 1,274,578, while 11 patients died in this period, as the Covid-19 death toll reached 28,477.

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