RAWALPINDI: The Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) on Tuesday issued fresh guidelines for inbound airline passengers, abolishing categories ‘B’ and ‘C’ with immediate effect.

However, vaccination will be mandatory for all inbound passengers of over 15 years of age with a negative PCR report before boarding (maximum 48 hours old).

According to the guidelines, 100 per cent Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) will be mandatory for all the passengers arriving from Europe and minimum 50pc for the passengers coming from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

According to PCAA, the countries included in the category ‘A’ are: Australia, Bhutan, China, Fiji, Japan, Kazakhstan, Laos, Mongolia, Mauritania, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Trinidad and Tobago and Vietnam.

The counties included in the category ‘C’ are: South Africa, Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Comoros, Mozambique, Zambia, Tanzania, Rwanda, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Chile, Eswatini, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Malawi, Seychelles, Somalia, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela and India.

The countries not specified in categories ‘A’ and ‘C’ fall in the category ‘B’.

A spokesman for the PCAA said that the RAT test had been made mandatory for the passengers arriving from Europe because of emerging cases of Omicron, whereas such cases were less reported in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Published in Dawn, January 5th, 2022

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