RAWALPINDI: The Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has exempted the New Zealand cricket team from rapid antigen testing upon their arrival at the Islamabad International Airport on Saturday.
The waiver, however, is subject to other relevant SOP rules, such as thermal scanning upon arrival.
The exemption was given in the light of request from Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for the Rapid Antigen Testing at the airport, as the PCB will be doing the PCR testing of the New Zealand team at Serena hotel on their arrival before checking into their rooms.
Pakistan Cricket Board is hosting the New Zealand National Cricket team from Sept 11, to Oct in Islamabad and Lahore for 3ODIs and 5 T20 matches respectively. The New Zealand cricket team will arrive in Islamabad on Septr 11from Bangladesh by a chartered flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines flight BG-4031 at about 14 hours.
As per BCP’s Bio secure protocol no outsider will be allowed to interact with the New Zealand team and only the PCB drivers and officials who will be the part of the bubble and have completed their isolation period and three negative Covid-19 tests.
The PCB requested the CAA that since the team is travelling from Bio Secure Bubble to Bio Secure Bubble, the team may be exempted from Rapid Antigen Testing at the airport. The PCB will be doing the PCR testing of the team at their hotel in Islamabad.
In reply to the PCB request, the CAA granted the permission subject to other relevant provisions of the SPOs related to international travelers and any subsequent amendments issued thereafter including thermal scanning upon arrival as per SOPs.
Foolproof security arrangements have been devised for the visiting New Zealand cricket team which is scheduled to play matches at Cricket Stadium Rawalpindi.
An alternative traffic plan had also been chalked out to facilitate citizens who had already been passing though distress due to traffic mess on city routes.
Published in Dawn, September 10th, 2021