Photo used for illustrative purpose.
The Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) has issued fresh guidelines for inbound airline passengers, abolishing categories ‘B’ and ‘C’ with immediate effect.
However, vaccination will be mandatory for all inbound passengers of over 15 years of age with a negative PCR report before boarding (maximum 48 hours old).
According to the guidelines, 100 per cent Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) will be essential for all the passengers arriving from Europe and minimum 50 per cent for the Gulf countries.
The PCAA said the countries included in the category ‘A’ are: Australia, Bhutan, China, Fiji, Japan, Kazakhstan, Laos, Mongolia, Mauritania, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Trinidad and Tobago and Vietnam.
The counties included in the category ‘C’ are: South Africa, Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Comoros, Mozambique, Zambia, Tanzania, Rwanda, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Chile, Eswatini, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Malawi, Seychelles, Somalia, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela and India. The countries not specified in categories ‘A’ and ‘C’ fall in the category ‘B’.
A PCAA spokesman said that the RAT test had been made mandatory for the passengers arriving from Europe because of emerging cases of Omicron, whereas such cases were less reported in the Gulf countries.
He said that the PCAA would continue to review the guidelines keeping in view the situation relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. He said that the new variant, Omicron, has posed another great danger.
It was not immediately clear which routes and air carriers would be affected. The NCOC added the decision would be reviewed on May 18. Inbound air traffic will operate at 20% of the total current quantum, while there is no change in the existing Category C list countries.
According to details shared by the CAA, Qatar Airways was previously allowed to operate 56 flights in a week, which is now minimised to 11, followed by eight flights allowed to Gulf Air as compared to 35 flights previously in a week.
People intending to come to Pakistan or leave the country have been facing hardship and mental agony because of cancellation of their flights by several foreign airlines due to capacity restrictions.
The Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said in a new travel advisory, that all inbound passengers aged six years and above will be required to submit a valid negative PCR test result conducted within 72 hours prior to commencement of travel to Pakistan.
Brigadier Tembinkosi Kinana said police were alerted by members of the public to the incident at Scenery Park, about three kms from the city centre.
"While this bill doesn't do everything I want, it does include actions I've long called for that are going to save lives," he said at the White House before leaving for two major diplomatic summits in Europe.
Four explosions were heard at around 6:30am (0330 GMT), half an hour after air raid sirens sounded in the capital, which has not come under Russian bombardment for nearly three weeks.