PIA offloads 37 passengers on Toronto bound flight under new restrictions

Abdul Hafeez Khan, the spokesman of Pakistan International Airlines, confirmed that the national carrier offloaded the passengers traveling to Canada on visit visas. He added that as per new restrictions, only Canadian, US nationals or diplomatic staff are allowed to travel to Toronto.

PIA

PIA offloaded as many as 37 passengers from Canada-bound flight traveling on visit visas after Canadian authorities placed temporary restrictions on the entry of non-Canadian residents to stop the spread of coronavirus in the country.

Abdul Hafeez Khan, the spokesman of Pakistan International Airlines, confirmed that the national carrier offloaded the passengers traveling to Canada on visit visas. He added that as per new restrictions, only Canadian, US nationals or diplomatic staff are allowed to travel to Toronto.

 

Both Canada and the USA have also decided to close borders for non-essential traffic such as tourists and other visitors with ‘mutual consent’.

Trade, the president said on Twitter, would not be affected by the decree. More details are forthcoming, said US President Donald Trump.

The spokesman informed that Oman, UAE, and Malaysia have imposed a similar restriction for people traveling to these countries on business and visit visas.

“From March 18, PIA will not take any passenger visiting Canada on visit visa,” the PIA sp0kesman informed.

He further informed that a similar ban has been promulgated by UAE, Oman, and Malaysia on the entry of non-residents. In the latest notification issued by The Supreme Council of National Security, UAE authorities have strictly warned the airlines to adhere to the decision.

Read more: UN warns of upto 25M Job losses due to COVID-19

Countries are taking extreme measures to contain the outbreak of pandemic coronavirus in their respective countries.

PIA’s measures for coronavirus

Meanwhile, PIA will continue flight operations but has tightened travel regulations for international passengers boarding the national carrier to Pakistan.

 

Under the new guidelines, PIA has made it mandatory for international passengers to carry with them the authentic report of their COVID-19 tests through RT-PCR conducted 24 hours before boarding the flight.

Moreover, the test report must include the name and passport number of the passenger. The test result will be needed at the airport, informed PIA.

PIA has made it mandatory for passengers to follow the guideline which will be effective from March 20, 2020.

 

The national carrier is adamant to strictly apply the requirement of coronavirus test reports before boarding PIA despite condemnation from hundreds of Pakistanis stuck in Europe and other countries desperate to return to Pakistan.

CAA’s restrictions

Meanwhile, the Civil Aviation Authority has also restricted the number of visitors at airports across Pakistan. Only one person is allowed to drop/receive passengers at the airport.

Authorities in Pakistan have ramp up efforts to mitigate the spread of coronavirus in the country.

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