INTERNATIONAL AIRLINES MAKE COVID-19 TEST MANDATORY FOR PAKISTANI TRAVELLERS
International airlines have made coronavirus tests mandatory for passengers flying from Pakistan, which the travellers are required to take no earlier than 96 hours before boarding the flight.
According to new travel advisories issued by the Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways, and Emirates, a negative Covid-19 test will now be the pre-requisite for passengers travelling from Pakistan.
It is specified that the tests will be acceptable only if conducted by the approved laboratories of the respective airline, the details of which can be found on the websites of the same. They may also be inquired about from the airlines' respective offices and travel agents.
Earlier, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has issued travel instructions, directing airlines to not issue tickets to passengers presenting symptoms of the coronavirus.
The directions, which are to remain in effect till July 31, specify that if symptoms appear after a person has purchased the ticket then the person should not come to the airport.
The CAA notification included Covid-19 symptoms such as cold, cough, flu, fever, and difficulty in breathing, to screen passengers.
All passengers are also directed to wear masks at the airport, use sanitisers, and maintain social distance.
These instructions came following the suspension of flights from the country by Emirates, Etihad Airways and Fly Dubai after 26 Pakistanis travelling on a flight to Hong Kong tested positive for the disease.
In June, Japan and South Korea also restricted entry of passengers from Pakistan to their respective countries.
Japan has some 111 countries on its list of travel restrictions during the pandemic, while South Korea took this measure after it recorded an increase in coronavirus cases from Pakistan.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Imran Khan called upon the World Health Organisation (WHO) to play its role in engaging member states to remove Covid-19 related travel restrictions on Pakistan and other developing countries and to work towards a data-driven system of non-discriminatory travel rules.