ISLAMABAD           -               The federal government suspended operation of all international flight including chartered and private flights to Pakistan for two weeks from Saturday evening.

The government also suspended all international flights coming to Pakistan for two weeks and this includes all flight carriers, not just PIA. However, diplomats and special/cargo aircrafts are exempted from the conditions. But they will be subjected to appropriate health screenings on arrival. They can also be isolated / quarantined as per advice of health professionals, said the Aviation Division’s travel advisory issued on Saturday.

The decision was taken against

 

 

 

the backdrop of spread of Coronavirus and after carefully examining all the options. According to the travel advisory, the suspension of flights would be effective from 21st March 2020 (2000 hrs PST) to 4th April 2020 (2000 hrs PST). “This is a temporary suspension imposed due to exceptional circumstances. Upon resumption of international passenger, chartered and private flights to Pakistan, RT-PCR test certification from points of origin will not be mandatory,” it said.  

 

The Division said that the WHO has declared COVID-19 as a pandemic as most of the countries have now reported cases of COVID-19. It said the government is making all out efforts to deal with a rapidly evolving situation which is a challenge, not only for Pakistan but the whole world. Proactive, comprehensive and coordinated steps continue to be taken to curtail the spread of COVID-19, with a view to ensuring safety and security of our nationals and people traveling to and from Pakistan, the travel advisory said.

 

The Aviation Division said as the situation evolves; the government continues to review the measures/ arrangements in place, including the WHO recommendations to keep its population safe. “The Government of Pakistan is fully committed to ensuring the safety and security of its people. COVID-19 is a global challenge entailing a global response. Individual responsibility is critical for collective security. Your safety lies in keeping others safe,” said the advisory further.

 

Earlier in the day, PIA had said that it was cancelling all its international flights in accordance with the directives of government of Pakistan effective from 8 PM, 21 Mar 2020 till 28 Mar 2020. “PIA is taking serious safety measures during this pandemic. Aircraft are sanitized & disinfected before each flight. Gloves & masks are mandatory while handling passengers. Only a single customer is allowed at check-in counter which is sanitized each time,” it said.

 

 

International flights to Pakistan suspended for two weeks