Pakistan extends COVID-19 SOPs for inbound flights till Feb 28

Islamabad: Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) has extended the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), introduced for all inbound flights to prevent the spread of fatal coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country, till February 28.

According to two separate notifications shared by the Aviation Division here on Sunday, the negative PCR test requirement for the category B&C country passengers had been reduced from 96 to 72 hours.

From February 1, the PCAA further clarified that only the air passengers holding Pakistani Passport, National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis and Pakistan Origin Card, besides diplomatic passport holders and their families from the Category-C countries would be allowed to enter Pakistan, “while in possession of a negative PCR Test Certification conducted within 72 hours prior to commencement of travel to Pakistan.”

The authority said any or all passengers arriving in Pakistan from Category-C countries or having stayed in a category-C country within the last ten days prior to travel to Pakistan could also be subjected to additional stipulations as specified by the relevant health authorities upon arrival in Pakistan.

The PCAA also issued a revised list of category A, B&C countries pertaining to international inbound travel to Pakistan in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, which would be valid from February 2.

As per the updated list, the passengers coming from Category-A countries including Australia, China, Cuba, Finland, Ghana, Iceland, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Madagascar, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, and Vietnam, were not required to carry the COVID-19 PCR test before entry into Pakistan.

Explaining category-B, the authority said the negative COVID-19 PCR test, maximum 72 hours old, was required from the international travelers coming from the countries not specified in the categories A&C.

In category-C, the PCAA said six countries including South Africa, United Kingdom, Brazil, Ireland, Portugal and Netherlands had been enlisted from where only Pakistanis, diplomatic passport holders and their families would be allowed to enter Pakistan under the certain SOPs including the 72-hour old PCR test before boarding a flight to Pakistan.