Pakistan bans travel from six African countries, Hong Kong amid new Covid variant concern


ISLAMABAD – The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has announced to ban travel from six South Africa countries and Hong Kong after the emergence of a new coronavirus variant.

Passengers from South Africa, Hong Kong, Mozambique, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana and Eswatini will not be allowed to enter Pakistan after December 5 as the countries have been placed in Category C.

Pakistanis stranded in these countries will be allowed to return till December 5 without obtaining any exemptions from authorities, but they will need to follow the health protocols.

After Dec 5, Pakistani passengers travelling from these countries on extreme emergency will only be allowed after obtaining exemptions and certain health/testing protocols that include vaccination certificate, negative PCR report and Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) on arrival at airport.

RAT positive cases will undergo 10 days mandatory quarantine while negative cases will undergo 3 days mandatory home quarantine.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the new COVID-19 strain from southern Africa a “variant of concern,” naming it Omicron.

The United Kingdom, Turkey and several other countries have also suspended flights from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

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