PIA issues travel advisory for passengers travelling to Saudi Arabia

KARACHI: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) issued a travel advisory for visitors to Saudi Arabia on Saturday and directed passengers to fill the new health declaration form.

A notification was issued by PIA’s Flight Services department which stated that the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has updated its health disclaimer form for all airlines operating in Saudi Arabia amid the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic.

The national carrier ordered the staff to distribute the health declaration form onboard the flight to all passengers arriving at the kingdom with immediate effect.

Following the GACA instructions, the passengers travelling to Saudi Arabia have been asked by the PIA administration to fill and sign the mandatory health declaration form at the airport’s health control centres.

Earlier on Friday last, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) had extended a travel ban on passengers arriving from the United Kingdom (UK) other than Pakistani passport holders and updated its C category for international travel. The new standard operating procedures (SOPs) had been issued by the Director Air Transport department of CAA according to which category C international passengers now have to show Covid-19 report upon arrival and they will undergo another Covid test in Pakistan.

The CAA had added six more countries to the C category list. South Africa, the UK, Portugal, Ireland and Brazil were the new countries included in category C. It had notified the new categories, A & B, for international travels wherein 23 countries now qualify in the former category which means people travelling to Pakistan from them will not have to take the mandatory pre-boarding Covid test.

China, Saudi Arabia, New Zealand, and Australia are among the A-category countries, according to the CAA. However, those coming from countries in the B travel category will have to make sure a negative Covid PCR report at maximum of 90 hours prior to boarding.

The rest of Covid SOPs will remain the same and their implementation will be mandatory, CAA said today. The new travel restrictions will remain in effect until February 28, 2021.

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