RAWALPINDI: As Pakistan introduced a stricter travel ban in 23 countries amid growing Covid-19 cases involving new variants, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) further extended travel restrictions until April 30.
Following an increase in Covid-19 cases in India, the federal government on April 19 placed India in category C countries and banned all private charter and aircraft flights to Pakistan from that country.
A new notification issued by the CAA containing the list of countries classified as A, B and C was shared by the regulator with 20 countries classified in category A. It also increased the number of countries in category C to 23 after the addition of India to it. .
The CAA said the revised list that went into effect April 21-24 has been extended to April 30.
According to the previous notification effective March 23, there will be a total ban on entry travel to Pakistan from category C countries, including the withdrawal of exemptions previously provided for Pakistani and Nicop passport holders.
The counties included in category C were 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.
CAA said travelers from 20 countries that fall into category A did not require the Covid-19 test before entering Pakistan. All countries not specified in categories A and C fall into category B.
Category A countries 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.
CAA said travelers from countries not specified in category A required the Covid-19 PCR test prior to the start of their trip to Pakistan (maximum 72 hours).
On the other hand, Pakistan International Airlines suspended its flights to Canada after the Canadian Aviation Authority banned all passengers and cargo flights from Pakistan for 30 days and started making arrangements to bring back its crew of 16 members trapped there. .
A PIA spokesman said that crew members will be evacuated through an exclusive cargo flight or through interline agreements.