The Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) has on Sunday removed the United Kingdom (UK) from the list of travel restricted countries amidst the sharp rise of new COVID strain across the globe.
According to the notification issued by PCAA, Pakistan removes the UK from the list of travel restricted countries and has been removed from category C of the banned countries and included in category B.
The PCAA has also issued new Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for international and chartered flights. The new SOPs will be effective from April 6th until April 20th.
The fresh COVID-19 test is mandatory for passengers coming from UK 72 hours before their arrival in Pakistan, the notification said.
The notification further added that 22 countries including South Africa, Colombia, Zimbabwe and Ghana have been included in category C.
UK Added Pakistan To ‘Red List‘ of Travel Ban Countries
Earlier, the British government had imposed a travel ban on Pakistan due to the growing number of coronavirus cases in the country.
After which, the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority put on hold the request of British Airways for more flights. British Airways had sought permission for 10 more flights to Pakistan.
Civil aviation took more precautionary measures on SOPs and did not allow any more flights of the British airline.
Sources said that the request of British Airways for more flights was put on hold, British Airways had sought permission for 10 more flights to Pakistan, 7 flights from the UK to Islamabad and 3 flights from the UK to Lahore.
It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan International Airlines has increased the number of flights to the UK before April 9 on government directives.
The return of passengers to Pakistan on Easter and Good Friday has become difficult after the UK added Pakistan to the red list.
On the other hand, a statement issued by the PIA spokesperson said that in this situation, fares were being collected from foreign airlines up to Rs 4 lakh.
The spokesman said that on the instructions of the government, PIA increased the number of its flights before April 9.
“With the additional flights, five PIA flights will now depart for the UK from April 4 to 9.”
According to CEO PIA Arshad Malik, the purpose of the additional flights is to ease the problems of migrants and control fares.
“Special instructions have been issued to make it easier for passengers to get tickets.”