Pakistan puts pandemic-hit UK, South Africa in C Category
Crowds at London's Heathrow Airport sparked "super spreader" concerns after pictures emerged of a packed departures hall with limited social distancing on Friday, January 22.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of Pakistan on Saturday changed categories of some countries in line with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) aimed at curbing spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the country.
The CAA removed Zimbabwe from A Category and put it in the B Category. Similarly, the CAA put the United Kingdom and South Africa in the C Category keeping in view an increase in the number of people infected by a new strain of coronavirus in these countries, especially the United Kingdom.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said later this week that it was probably the new strain of coronavirus that was infecting people at a greater speed and claiming more lives in the United Kingdom. The British prime minister’s statement later on Friday alerted the Pakistan authorities and the CAA put the UK in the list of the countries in the C Category. People from countries in the C Category cannot travel to Pakistan. However, Pakistani citizens who are on a temporary visa in the United Kingdom can travel to Pakistan in line with the instructions issued by the CAA.
According to the CAA, it has put 24 countries in the A Category and the rest in B Category. People travelling to Pakistan from the list of A Category countries are not required to undergo coronavirus tests before travelling to Pakistan. China, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Qatar, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Australia, The Philippines, South Korea and some other countries are in the A Category.
People travelling to Pakistan from the countries, which are in CAA’s B Category, would have to undergo coronavirus tests before travelling to Pakistan. A notification in this regard was issued by CAA Air Transport Director Irfan Sabir on Saturday.