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Passengers from 23 countries allowed to enter Pakistan without Covid-19 test: CAA

The notification issued by the CAA has divided countries into three categories, namely A, B, and C. 

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On Tuesday, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) announced a list of countries that would be exempt from taking a Covid-19 test before entering Pakistan. The list issued by the CAA entails three categories, namely A, B, and C. 

According to the issued notification, these new instructions apply to all scheduled and chartered airline operators, ground handling agents, private and authorized flight agents. 

Read more: Pakistan, India suspend flights from UK amid new COVID-19 strain

Category A comprises 23 countries that will not be required to get tested for Covid-19 before entering Pakistan. Countries like Australia, Cote d’ Ivoire, China, Fiji, Finland, Ghana, Iceland, Iraq, Madagascar, Maldives, Myanmar, New Zealand, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Togo, Vietnam, and Zambia have been included in category A.

The remaining countries, ones that are not in category A naturally fall into category B. Passengers from these countries are required to get the test done within the last 96 hours before coming to Pakistan. 

Read more: Saudi Arabia lifts ban on international flights after two weeks

“International travellers from countries not specified in category A, require Covid-19 PCR test before commencement of travel to Pakistan (max 96 hours old),” the notification read.

While there are currently no countries in category C, however, if in case a country is included in the category, passengers would have do get a Covid-19 test done before entering and after landing in Pakistan respectively. 

Recommencement of flights to Saudi Arabia

On Sunday, Pakistan International Airline (PIA) announced the recommencement of its regular passenger flights to Saudi Arabia which were otherwise suspended amid Saudi Arabia’s ban on all flights in and out of the Kingdom. This was announced after Saudi Arabia lifted its travel ban on Sunday.

According to the Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation’s (SGACA) latest notice, the Kingdom has now lifted its travel ban on international flights to the country. However, it has presented strict requirements that need to be fulfilled before entering the country.

Read more: Emirates resumes normal flights in Pakistan

According to officials, passengers from countries where the new variant of Covid-19 has spread, such as the United Kingdom, South Africa, and others, must spend 14 days in a country where the new variant has not been reported, before entering Saudi Arabia.

Passengers must also take a PCR test at the end of that 14 days period and should test negative.

Read more: PIA is not pleased with Civil Aviation Authority’s decision to allow Virgin Atlantic flights in Pakistan

The passengers whose flights were already booked with PIA are requested to go to their nearest PIA offices to reactivate their flight bookings, said PIA’s spokesperson. Those who want to travel to the Kingdom must do the same or contact PIA’s call centres.

Those wanting to travel to Saudi Arabia must get tested only at facilities the Saudi government has approved, added the spokesperson.

Read more: China fears “imported” virus cases, suspends UK flights amid new Covid-19 strain

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