RAWALPINDI: Due to a surge in coronavirus cases, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on Tuesday notified travel restriction and standard operating procedures (SOPs) for inbound flights to Pakistan and domestic passengers besides chartered and private flights.
These restrictions, effective from March 23, 2021 have been extended till April 5, 2021.
“Categorised country lists conveyed on March 20, 2021 will also continue to remain effective accordingly,” the CAA notification said.
The authority issued another notification for implementation of SOPs for domestic passengers, chartered and private aircraft flights. The CAA on March 20, 2021 notified a fresh list of countries categorised into A, B and C, after emergence of the virus’s South African and Brazilian strain and imposed a complete travel ban on category C countries.
Travel restrictions and a ban on inbound passengers from 12 countries will be effective till April 5, 2021, the notification said. “Conveyed by NCOC, there will be a complete travel ban on inbound travel to Pakistan from category C countries, including withdrawal of exemptions earlier provided to Pakistani passport holders, NICOP holders and POC holders. The temporary measure is being introduced in continuation to the steps being taken to curb the spread of Covid-19 in Pakistan,” it added.
The CAA has updated category C, for inbound travellers and shifted the United Kingdom from category C to category B, spokesman for the Aviation Division said.
The notification further added that travel restrictions on inbound travel to Pakistan from category C countries conveyed earlier on Jan 29, 2021 will also continue to remain effective until April 5, 2021.
Furthermore, a raid was conducted at Islamabad International Airport (IIA) and 23 persons were fined for ignoring SOPs on Tuesday. The airport management on directives of DG civil aviation is conducting surprise raids to monitor whether SOPs are being implemented and followed.
Amir Mehboob, deputy director general airport services held a video link meeting with all airport managers and directed them to ensure implementation of Covid-19 SOPs.
Strict implementation of SOPs should be ensured, the deputy DG said, adding various agencies working at the airport, including CAA employees, should take all possible precautionary measures to curb spread of the virus.
Mr Mehboob said legal action should be taken against those who do not wear face masks or maintain social distancing.
When contacted, Airport Manager Adnan Khan, told Dawn that he carried out surprise checking on Tuesday and imposed a fine on 23 people, none of them were travellers.
He said airport management has been taking all precautionary measures to minimise spread of the virus.
Published in Dawn, March 31st, 2021