Pakistan has asked the Canadian government for reconsidering its decision of suspending all passenger flights from Islamabad for 30 days.
In a letter to Canadian Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra, Pakistan High Commissioner to Canada Raza Bashir Tarar drew attention to the fact that Pakistan, like all other countries, had been facing the pandemic but it had managed it well due to its strategy of smart lockdowns.
He assured the minister that Pakistan’s testing mechanism is very robust and Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) only accepted results from the best laboratories and matched them with a barcode on every result sheet.
A day earlier, the Canadian government has announced that it will ban passenger flights from India and Pakistan for the next 30 days.
All direct commercial and private passenger flights from India and Pakistan will be included in the ban, although cargo flights will still be permitted, media reports said.
Omar Alghabra, Canadian Minister of Transport, said, “We’ve been saying for over a year, now is not the time to travel.”
He added, “Border restrictions can change at any time, and you can be stuck in another country.”
Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said Canada would not hesitate to bar flights from other nations if needed.
As per the government officials, passengers flying to Canada from India and Pakistan via an indirect route will be required to have a negative coronavirus test taken at their last point of departure.
Not only Canada, several other countries including the United Kingdom (UK) had added India to the “red list” of countries from which most travel to UK is banned.
The British Naz Shah says India should have been placed on the red list much earlier. The decision was only put off because Boris Johnson was hoping to avoid cancelling his travel to India.
From Friday, people who have travelled from India in the last 10 days will be denied entrance.
British or Irish passport holders as well as people with UK residence rights, will be allowed to enter but must quarantine for 10 days in a hotel approved by the government.