Sunday Aug 15 2021
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Pakistanis allowed to return from Afghanistan without negative PCR test

A Reuters file image of the Islamabad International Airport.
A Reuters file image of the Islamabad International Airport.

The Civil Aviation Authority, in a statement on Sunday, said special permission has been accorded for the return of Pakistanis from Afghanistan without the mandatory negative PCR test for coronavirus.

"As informed by our mission in Kabul, the current situation in Afghanistan has necessitated imminent repatriation of Pakistani nationals residing in Afghanistan," read the CAA statement.

It said that "given the paucity of time", it was decided that Pakistani travellers be allowed to arrive without the possession of mandatory negative PCR test results which is usually conducted within the 72 hours prior to commencement of travel to Pakistan.

The rule will remain in effect for all direct flights between Kabul and Islamabad arriving up to August 18, 2021, 2359 hours.

"This approval, however, is subject to strict compliance with other provisions of standard operating procedures in-vogue relating to inbound travel to Pakistan, including Rapid Antigen testing, PCR Testing and any other stipulations as mandated by the relevant health authorities upon arrival in Pakistan," the notice said.

This means that upon arrival, passengers will be subject to all tests made mandatory by health authorities, as well as strict compliance of safety measures.

Special PIA flights on Aug 16, 17 and 18

The PIA will be running special flights between Kabul and Islamabad on August 16, 17 and 18, to facilitate Pakistanis stranded in Afghanistan, sources told Geo News.

PIA will operate Boeing 777 flights, the sources said, adding that the airline has sought permission in this regard from the Afghan civil aviation authority.

Meanwhile, PIA is already operating Airbus 320 flights to Afghanistan.