Pakistanis briefly stranded at Istanbul Airport due to new COVID-19 restrictions

Zarghoon Shah
A passenger wearing a protective face mask waits for a flight at Istanbul Airport. Photographer: Yasin Akgul/AFP.

  • Turkey imposes 14-day quarantine restrictions on passengers from a few countries, including those from Pakistan. 
  • Pakistanis who began traveling to Turkey on June 1 were stranded at Istanbul Airport. 
  • FO says it is in contact with Pakistani officials in Ankara and Istanbul.

The Foreign Office (FO) confirmed on Tuesday it was on contact with Pakistanis who were stranded at the Istanbul Airport owing to new coronavirus restrictions in place since yesterday. 

As per Turkey's new coronavirus safety precautions, passengers from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brazil, South Africa, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka will be quarantined for 14 days at locations decided by the government of Turkey. 

As a result, Pakistanis who initiated travel to Turkey a day before the coronavirus restrictions were announced, were left stranded at the airport. 

"Pakistani passengers had begun their travel before the new rules and regulations were announced," said the FO spokesperson, adding that the Pakistan Embassy in Ankara and Consul General in Istabul were in contact with the Pakistanis. 

At the Pakistan's request, Turkish authorities have decided to waive the new coronavirus regulations for Pakistanis who travelled to Turkey on June 1, said the FO spokesperson. 

He clarified that passengers who were stranded at the Istanbul Airport were allowed to enter Turkey after COVID-19 testing. 

The FO spokesperson said a team of the Pakistani consulate general was present at the Istanbul Airport to facilitate the Pakistanis there. 

As per the new rules, passengers who visited the countries mentioned earlier during the last 14 days will also be requested to submit a negative result of the PCR test conducted a maximum of 72 hours before entering Turkey.

Meanwhile, passengers from the UK, Iran, Egypt, and Singapore will only be required to submit a negative PCR result 72 hours before entering Turkey.