Pakistan issues updated travel advisory as Omicron variant spreads to more nations

10:18 AM | 29 Nov, 2021
Pakistan issues updated travel advisory as Omicron variant spreads to more nations
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KARACHI – The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has notified an updated travel advisory for incoming passengers amid mounting concerns over the spread of a new and potentially more contagious Covid variant named Omicron.

Reports in local media said the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on Sunday released a fresh travel advisory for Category C countries and has enlisted 17 states in the list including South Africa, Hong Kong, Iraq, Namibia, and Ukraine.

A notification issued by the aviation regulator stated that the passengers coming from the countries categorized into C would require permission from the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC).

“They would have to compulsorily provide evidence of full Covid-19 vaccination,” the notification further cited.

For Pakistani citizens, CAA said the passengers can return home until December 05 without formal permission while a negative PCR test report, conducted 72 hours before travel, will be compulsory.  Furthermore, testing and quarantine rules will be applicable to the passengers on arrival to the South Asian country.

On Friday, Asad Umar, the chief of Pakistan's top monitoring body on Covid, announced a travel ban on seven countries after the emergence of a new strain of the novel virus.

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NCOC chief confirmed the restrictions on travel from six South African countries and Hong Kong and stressed that the emergence of the new variant further underscores the urgency to vaccinate all eligible citizens.

New travel bans take effect globally to curb mutated Covid variant

Many of the countries have enforced stern travel restrictions as the Omicron Covid variant kept spreading around the world, with 13 cases found in the Netherlands and two each in Denmark and Australia.

The discovery of the ‘variant of concern’ has triggered alarm as a number of major events have been called off. WHO in a statement said it was designating the variant, named omicron, as being “of concern”, a label is only given to four variants to date.

Earlier, the US announced to restrict travel from South Africa, where the new mutation first surfaced – and neighboring countries, effective from Monday (today) while Canada also said it was closing its borders to the same countries, following bans on flights announced by Britain, the European Union and others.

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