Pakistan has banned all flights from the United Kingdom (UK) after the country reported a new and more transmissible coronavirus (COVID-19) strain.
According to the press release issued by the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC), the new restrictions will come into effect starting 12:00am on 23rd December 2020 and remain in place until 29th December 2020.
The new strain of COVID-19 called “VUI-2020/01” was discovered by UK health authorities during an investigation of a rapid increase in coronavirus infections that was being reported from South East England.
According to the new details, the new COVID-19 strain is 70 percent more transmissible. However, there is no evidence yet to suggest that the infection caused by this strain is more dangerous.
Many countries, including Belgium, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Switzerland and Pakistan have completely banned UK flights or imposed additional restrictions on travelers to prevent the spread of this new COVID-19 strain.
Restrictions for non-Pakistanis and Dual National Pakistanis
According to the press release issued by the NCOC, all direct and indirect travel from the UK has been suspended starting 12:00am on 23rd December 2020 and the restriction will remain in place until 29th December 2020.
Furthermore, all travelers who have been in the UK over the past 10 days will not be allowed entry into Pakistan until the restriction is in effect.
However, transit passengers passing through UK but do not leave the airside will be allowed to enter Pakistan.
Restrictions for Pakistani passport holders in UK on visitor / temporary visa
Pakistani passport holders in the UK on visitor or temporary visa will be allowed to return with the following conditions:
- Negative result of a PCR test taken a maximum of 72 hours prior to boarding the flight in the UK.
- PCR test on arrival in Pakistan as arranged by the federal and provincial government during which passengers will be required to stay in the airport or will be taken to a government facility until the test is taken.
- Mandatory enforced quarantine for seven days.
The press release also states that the Pass Track App has been made mandatory for all travelers arriving in Pakistan with effect from midnight 22nd December. Passengers who do not have the app will need to fill out the web from the Pass Track App.