Pakistan bans travel from six South African countries, Hong Kong over new Covid variant

07:50 PM | 27 Nov, 2021
Pakistan bans travel from six South African countries, Hong Kong over new Covid variant
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ISLAMABAD – Pakistan on Saturday imposed a ban on travel from six southern African nations and Hong Kong following the emergence of a new variant of the coronavirus, Omicron.

The variant was first detected in South Africa and now spreading to other countries. 

Taking to Twitter, Federal Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar said: “Based on the emergence of the new covid variant, notification has been issued restrict travel from 6 south african countries and Hong Kong. The emergence of new variant makes it even more urgent to vaccinate all eligible citizens 12 years and older”.

The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has placed South Africa, Hong Kong, Mozambique, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana and Eswatini in category C, imposing a complete ban on direct/indirect inbound travel.

The restrictions will come into effect from December 5.

Pakistan passengers travelling from these countries on extreme emergencies will only be allowed after obtaining exemptions and certain health/testing protocols.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the new COVID-19 strain from southern Africa a “variant of concern,” naming it Omicron.

Earlier, several countries, including Turkey and UK, have restricted travel from these countries. 

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