Pakistan imposes travel ban on African countries amid Omicron alarm

WION Web Team
Islamabad Published: Nov 28, 2021, 08:22 PM(IST)

Pakistan airlines Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

The Pakistan government in a notification said stranded Pak citizens will be allowed to travel back home until December 5.

As nations continued their clampdown on flights to African countries due to the Omicron variant, Pakistan announced a "complete ban" on direct and indirect flights from South Africa, Hong Kong, Mozambique, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini and Botswana.

The Pakistan government said citizens "travelling from these countries on extreme emergency will only be allowed after obtaining exceptions" including vaccine certificate and a negative PCR test.

Also Read | Omicron variant causing mild disease, says South African Medical Association

The Pakistan government in a notification said stranded Pak citizens will be allowed to travel back home until December 5.

The authorities urged vaccination to be carried out on an urgent basis amid the threat of the new virus variant.

Also Read | Omicron variant is likely circulating in France: Health minister

The moves come as similar restrictions were placed by other nations after South Africa reported the Omicron variant on Friday.

European nations including the UK had banned flights on Friday to South Africa as it reported the emergence of the new virus variant.

Also Read | Dutch authorities confirm 13 Omicron variant cases in South African flights

Angola on Sunday also moved ahead to suspend flights to southern African countries. The authorities blocked all flights to Zimbabwe, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Mozambique. The UK had placed Angola on its "red list" after South Africa had revealed the emergence of the new virus.

The World Health Organization(WHO) had designated Omicron as a "variant of concern" although it cautioned against imposing flight bans while adding that it would take weeks to ascertain the true nature of the virus.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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