Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority has issued new SOPs for inbound flights, including mandatory coronavirus tests for passengers from some countries.
The requirement of a COVID-19 PCR test for incoming passengers comes into effect from October 5. The CAA has made divided countries into Category A and Category B countries.
Category A countries are Australia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Cuba, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Latvia, Lithuania, Malawi, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Rwanda, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Thailand, Togo, Turkey, Uganda and Uruguay and are exempt from the requirement.
Pakistan removed on October 9, the names of Belarus, Bulgaria, Canada, Estonia, Fiji, Italy, Myanmar, Poland, Slovakia, Sweden and Uganda from the Category A country list and added Ghana and Zimbabwe.
All other countries, including the US, UK and UAE, are required to provide negative PCR tests before boarding. The tests can be a maximum of 96 hours old.
All passengers travelling to Pakistan also have to download and install the Pass Track app from the Google Play or App Store and enter their personal details. Boarding passes will only be issued if the passengers have uploaded their information on the app or have a printed copy of the information uploaded on the app. Passengers without Android or Apple phones can use the web portal to enter their data.
Passengers younger than 12 years old, people with disabilities and high level international delegates are exempt from both the PCR test and Pass Track app requirements. However, they have to submit a health declaration form at the airport when they arrive in Pakistan.
Other requirements are that the airplanes travelling to Pakistan have to be disinfected before passengers board and personal protection equipment must be kept on board.
Some inflight SOPs include keeping an entire row empty for passengers or crew members who display coronavirus symptoms, providing sanitiser once an hour, the cabin crew disinfecting the lavatory every hour and passengers keeping their masks on throughout the flight.
This story was updated on October 15 with new information