ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has decided to suspend operation of all international flights with immediate effect in order to prevent spread of coronavirus.
A statement issued by Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said that against backdrop of coronavirus spread and after carefully examining all options, the government of Pakistan has decided to suspend operation of all international passenger, chartered and private flights to Pakistan, effective from March 21, 2020 (2000 hrs PST) to April 04, 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,” the statement said.
Diplomats and special/ cargo aircrafts are exempted from the conditions above. However, they will be subjected to appropriate health screenings on arrival. They can also be isolated / quarantined as per advice of health professionals.
The WHO has declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Most of the countries have now reported cases of COVID-19. 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.
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.