ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Tuesday imposed strict restrictions for air travelers above the age of 15-year-old visiting the country amid a surge in cases of Omicron variant of COVID-19.
After fresh directives from the federal government, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has removed B and C categories of the countries for flyers and decided that any passenger traveling to Pakistan should undergo a PCR test 48 hours prior to the flight.
Any passenger above the age of 15 will have to carry a negative PCR test conducted 48 hours before the flight, the CAA said in its travel advisory to be implemented from January 05.
The CAA further issued directives to make rapid antigen tests compulsory for 100 percent of passengers coming from Europe while 50 percent of travelers from Saudi Arabia and UAE will undergo the test.
It further said that the travelers testing positive for COVID should be sent to a government-run isolation centre while the passengers could also quarantine at their desired locations at their own expense.
“The passengers staying at a hotel or a place of their choice will have to bear the expense of the quarantine facility while no charges will be deducted for isolation for those staying at a government-run facility,” the CAA said.
In early December, amidst the threat of the potential spread of new Covid-19 Omicron variant to Pakistan, the NCOC imposed a complete ban on inbound travel from Category C countries.
The country’s top platform overseeing Covid response reviewed the prevailing Covid situation across the globe and revised the policy for categorisation of air travel and the Category C list.
The Category C countries include Croatia, Hungry, Netherlands, Ukraine, Ireland, Slovenia, Vietnam, Poland, South Africa, Mozambique, Lesotho, Eswatini, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Namibia.