Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar has said that Pakistan has restricted travel from six South African countries and Hong Kong following the emergence of new coronavirus variant.
“Based on the emergence of the new Covid variant, notification has been issued to restrict travel from 6 South African countries and Hong Kong,” said Asad, who also heads National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), in a tweet from his official handle on Saturday.
“The emergence of new variant makes it even more urgent to vaccinate all eligible citizens 12 years and older,” he added.
Based on the emergence of the new covid variant, notification has been issued restrict travel from 6 south african countries and Hong Kong. The emergence of new variant makes it even more urgent to vaccinate all eligible citizens 12 years and older.
— Asad Umar (@Asad_Umar) November 27, 2021
The NCOC in a separate statement said that consequent to the emergence of Omicron Covid variant in South Africa and its spread to adjoining regions complete ban has been imposed on direct/indirect inbound travel from South Africa, Hong Kong, Mozambique, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini and Botswana.
The aforementioned countries have also been included in “Category C,” as per the NCOC.
Pakistani passengers travelling from these countries on extreme emergency will only be allowed after obtaining exemptions and following health/testing protocols will be ensured for these passengers which include vaccination certificate, Negative PCR report (maximum 72 hours old) before boarding, RAT (rapid antigen test) on arrival at the airport.
Moreover, the NOCIC said the RAT negative cases will undergo three days mandatory home-quarantine and re-RAT will be conducted on the third day by the civil administration.
Whereas, the RAT positive cases will undergo 10 days mandatory quarantine (government/self-paid) and PCR test will be conducted on the 10th day in quarantine.
However, to facilitate stranded Pakistanis, travel from these countries till December 5, will be allowed without exemption but the above-mentioned health/testing protocols will remain applicable, it added.
“Aviation Division/Airport Management/ASF only devise a mechanism for screening of passengers travelling from above-mentioned countries through indirect flights and share with all concerned by November 29, 21.”