The federal government has decided to reopen 6 airports across the country for repatriation flights till April 20 in which thousands of Pakistanis stranded abroad due to the coronavirus pandemic will be brought back.
According to the Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on National Security Division, Moeed Yusuf, more than 2,000 Pakistanis have been evacuated from different countries so far.
Around 35,000 to 40,000 Pakistanis are stuck around the world because of the bans imposed on air travel due to the pandemic. The government has made all necessary arrangements to rescue stranded citizens, Moeed Yusuf stated in a media briefing with PM Imran Khan.
Pakistanis stuck in Afghanistan will be evacuated this week. All citizens will be quarantined on their way back for 2 weeks at the Chaman and Torkham borders. Meanwhile, the Pak-Iran border will be reopened after implementing precautionary measures.
The federal government had suspended international and domestic travel operations on 21 March. International flight operations were partially resumed on 4 April.
SOPs Issued for International Flights
Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has issued new SOPs for repatriation operations that will be applicable to cabin crew and ground staff alike.
Under the SOPs, airlines will be responsible for providing necessary protective equipment to the crew and passengers. The airlines must ensure that all passengers fill health declaration forms before taking off, which will be handed over to CAA at arrival.
All airlines shall formally seek permission from the CAA before arriving and departing from Pakistan.
Where international private and chartered flights are concerned, the flight operators will be required to submit health declaration forms on arrival as per the SOPs.
The SOPs will remain in effect till April 20.