Pakistan to ease curbs on inbound air travel from July 1

Islamabad - The move comes as the virus has begun to relent in the country, as well as around the world.

By Web Report

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Published: Tue 29 Jun 2021, 2:27 AM

Pakistan will ease its restrictions on international inbound air travel from July 1.

According to Dawn, the country’s National Command and Operation Centre has decided to gradually normalise inbound international air travel. A document available to Dawn shows that flights from the UK, Europe, Canada, China and Malaysia, which was 20 per cent of the normal volume, would be raised to 40 per cent from July 1.

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The document said existing pre-boarding and on-arrival testing protocols for all categories of the countries would remain the same. However, the home quarantine requirement for a negative Rapid Antigen Test cases has been abolished. Those who test positive will have to undergo quarantine as per prevailing procedure, the statement added.

A ministry of National Health Services official explained that Pakistan had introduced three categories for countries in October 2020 to deal with the pandemic.

“The countries in category A are exempted from the mandatory coronavirus testing, those in category B require a negative PCR test that has to be taken 72 hours before travel while people coming from countries in category C have to face restrictions and are only allowed under strict NCOC guidelines,” he said.

38 countries, including India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Sri Lanka, South Africa and Brazil, are in category C while others have been placed in category B.

The NCOC has advised the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to disseminated the new information to all its its high commissions and embassies and prioritize informing the international Pakistani diaspora.

Pakistan’s Civil Aviation authority issued a notice to all its airmen following the decision as well.

“In view of the recent improvement in Covid-19 situation in various parts of the world, the curtailment of international inbound landing flight operation to Pakistan has been revised,” it said.

According to the notice, direct flights from Europe, UK, China, Malaysia and Canada to airports in Pakistan had been increased by another 20 per cent from the existing 20 per cent of the approved summer 2021 schedule.

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The notice further added that status quo would continue to be maintained on the current 20pc of the approved summer 2021 schedule for flights operating from all other regions except the countries mentioned.

The move comes as Pakistan continued to record less than 1,000 new cases of Covid-19 for the second consecutive day and less than 50 deaths for the last 10 days.

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