Covid-19 Omicron variant: Pakistan extends travel ban to 9 more countries – Khaleej Times

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The country also tightened norms for 13 others

Photo: AFP

By Agencies

Published: Mon 6 Dec 2021, 6:06 PM

Pakistan on Monday announced its decision to ban travel from nine more countries, mostly from Europe, Dawn reported.

The decision came as the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) reviewed the global Covid-19 situation amid the spread of the new variant Omicron on Monday.

According to a statement from the NCOC, the authority has revised and expanded Category C — a list of countries from which travel is banned, except under certain conditions.

Croatia, Hungary, Netherlands, Ukraine, Ireland, Slovenia, Vietnam, Poland and Zimbabwe are the countries that have been added to the list. Travel to South Africa, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, Botswana and Namibia as well as Hong Kong was banned late last month.

Inbound travel from these countries has been banned, the NCOC statement said.

In case of essential travel, passengers are required to be fully vaccinated while all passengers, local or foreigners above the age of six years, must possess a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test report issued not more than 48 hours prior to boarding, and get the rapid antigen testing (RAT) conducted on arrival in Pakistan.

Passengers who test negative will be allowed to proceed. However, passengers from South Africa, Mozambique, Lesotho, Eswatini, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Namibia will have to undergo a mandatory three-day quarantine followed by a PCR test.

Passengers who test positive on arrival will be quarantined for 10 days and a PCR test will be conducted on the eighth day, the NCOC stated. It added that they will be allowed to leave quarantine if they test negative. In case of a positive result, they will spend more time under quarantine or be moved to hospital based on the advice of health authorities, according to the NCOC statement.

Restricted countries

A list of 13 countries comprising the US, UK, Germany, Trinidad and Tobago, Azerbaijan, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Russia, Thailand, France, Austria, Afghanistan and Turkey have been included in Category B.

Passengers from these countries will be required to be fully vaccinated, while everyone above the age of six must possess a negative PCR test report issued not more than 48 hours before boarding.

RATs of passengers will be conducted on random flights, the NCOC stated. Those who test negative will be allowed to proceed while those who test positive will undergo quarantine for 10 days, with a PCR test being conducted on the eighth day. If they test negative, they will be allowed to leave; otherwise, they will have to undergo additional quarantine or be moved to hospital, depending on advice from health authorities.

All countries that are not included in Category B or C have been included in Category A. Passengers from these countries will also be required to be fully vaccinated and possess a negative PCR test report issued not more than 48 hours prior to boarding, the NCOC said.

Deportees from countries in all categories are exempted from the PCR test report requirement.

RATs of all passengers on transit flights from the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar will be conducted, according to the revised guidelines.

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