Qatar and UAE airlines have announced mandatory coronavirus tests for passengers from Pakistan three to four days before the scheduled departure, as the number of COVID-19 cases continue to surge in the country.
A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) spokesperson told APP the airline has already asked its UAE-bound passengers to get their COVID-19 test reports from the designated laboratories four days prior to the scheduled flight.
The spokesman said PIA has advised all its UAE-bound passengers to get tested for coronavirus from designated laboratories/centres approved by the UAE government, prior to the departure of flights to Dubai, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi or Al-Ain.
“Reports must not be beyond 96-hour from the departure time and have to be presented at the boarding time along with the travel clearance certificate issued by the Dubai authority,” the official said.
The spokesperson added that the airline has already resumed its flights to UAE and was absolutely committed to strict compliance of SOPs which required passengers to get tested.
The spokesman added passengers having departed are also required to fill a health declaration form during the flight that may ascertain their wellness status in general.
Previously, passengers were told to get their coronavirus tests done 48 hours prior to the flight departure and a negative test report would have to be presented at the time of check-in.
Qatar Airways has also said all passengers from Pakistan must show they were tested for COVID-19, 72 hours before their flight departure and present a negative result.
The mandatory pre-flight requirement will take effect from Monday, a Qatar Airways spokesperson told Bloomberg. Qatar Airways currently operates services to the Pakistani cities of Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar.
“To ensure all customers can travel safely with Qatar Airways, from July 13 we will require passengers departing from all our gateways in Pakistan to undertake a COVID-19 PCR test before travel,” the airline spokesperson said.