Omicron: nine more countries get into Pak travel ban list

DailyTimes  |  Dec 07, 2021

The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) Monday reviewed the Covid-19 situation amid the spread of the new variant – Omicron – and decided to imposed travel restrictions on nine more countries, mostly from Europe.

According to a statement, the Centre revised and expanded Category-C – a list of countries from which travel is banned, except under certain conditions. Croatia, Hungary, Netherlands, Ukraine, Ireland, Slovenia, Vietnam, Poland and Zimbabwe are the countries that have been added to the list.

It is pertinent to mention that travel to South Africa, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, Botswana and Namibia as well as Hong Kong was banned late last month. Inbound travel from these countries has been banned, the NCOC statement said, says a news report.

It detailed the health protocols that need to be observed in case of essential travel, which require passengers to be fully vaccinated while all passengers, local or foreigners above the age of six years, must possess a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test report issued not more than 48 hours prior to boarding, and get the rapid antigen testing (RAT) conducted on arrival in Pakistan. Passengers who test negative will be allowed to proceed; however, passengers from South Africa, Mozambique, Lesotho, Eswatini, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Namibia will have to undergo a mandatory three-day quarantine followed by a PCR test.

Passengers who test positive on arrival will be quarantined for 10 days and a PCR test will be conducted on the eighth day, the NCOC stated, adding that they will be allowed to exit quarantine if they test negative. In case of a positive result, they will spend more time in quarantine or be moved to hospital based on the advice of health authorities. According to the NCOC, 13 countries including the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Trinidad and Tobago, Azerbaijan, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Russia, Thailand, France, Austria, Afghanistan and Turkey have been included in Category-B.

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