Pakistan extends travel restrictions as coronavirus cases continue to rise
Pakistan’s aviation authority on Saturday extended the existing restrictions for all inbound travellers for another two weeks as the nation continues to witness a surge in the number of coronavirus cases.
In a notification, Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) said that the instructions issued on December 31, 2020 would remain in place till March 14.
It means that the category list of countries, classified under categories A, B and C would be followed.
According to the list, Category A countries "do not require Covid-19 PCR test before entry into Pakistan".
There are 24 countries in the categories including Australia, China, Iraq, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Singapore.
Travel from Category C countries to Pakistan is restricted and "only allowed as per guidelines of NCOC (National Command and Operations Centre)", said the PCAA.
These countries are 15 in number and include South Africa, United Kingdom, Ireland and The Netherlands.
The PCCA said that restrictions specified in a January 29 notice for Category C countries will remain effective till March 14.
PCAA had specified that the people from Category C countries are allowed to travel to Pakistan, provided they had a negative PCR test conducted 72 hours prior at the most.
Those specified included Pakistani passport holders holding a valid visa from a category C country, NICOP (National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis) holders, POC (Pakistan Origin Card) holders and diplomatic passport holders of Category C countries and their families.
The PCAA said that all countries not listed in Category A or C fall under Category B and visitors from these countries to Pakistan require a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken 72 hours before travel.
The notification was issued by the PCCA as the number of Covid-19 cases reached 578,797 as 1,315 new cases emerged in the last 24 hours, according to the ministry of National Health Services.
It reported that 33 more patients died, taking the number of coronavirus deaths to 12,837 in the country.
However, on the positive side, so far 544,406 people have recovered.