Pakistan hopes UAE will review travel ban – Press Release

Foreign Office Spokesman Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri. — APP/File
Foreign Office Spokesman Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri. — APP/File
  • Pakistani, UAE officials in talks over the matter, says FO.
  • FO says FM Qureshi has spoken to his UAE counterpart.
  • UAE has extended ban on flights from Pakistan till July 21.

Pakistan has expressed hope that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will review the travel ban it has imposed on Islamabad till July 21, as the coronavirus situation in the country is better than several other states.

Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri, speaking to Geo News on Monday, said Pakistani officials were in talks with their UAE counterparts, as he hoped the country would revoke its travel advisory.

“Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi recently discussed the issue with his UAE counterpart, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed,” the spokesperson said.

Civil Aviation Authority Spokesperson Saad Ayub said according to the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority’s notification, flights from Pakistan, India, South Africa, Nigeria, and several other countries were banned July 21 — and after that, a decision will be taken on lifting or maintaining the ban.

“Flights from Pakistan were banned by the UAE from May 12,” the spokesperson said.

The UAE on June 26 extended the ban on flights from Pakistan and 13 other countries till July 21, Gulf News reported, citing a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) issued in this regard.

Other countries include India, Nigeria, South Africa, Liberia, Namibia, Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic Of Congo, Uganda, Zambia, Vietnam, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka.

In the notification, the federal aviation authority said that exceptions would be granted to cargo flights, as well as business and charter flights.

Dubai had said on June 19 that an entry ban on those who in the past 14 days had visited India, Nigeria, and South Africa would ease from June 23.

Meanwhile, diplomats told Geo News that UAE’s decision to allow visa holders from India and other countries where the COVID-19 situation was worse than Pakistan — and denying Pakistanis the same rights — has raised concerns. 

Turkey revises quarantine policy 

Meanwhile, later in the day, the Turkish authorities issued a revised policy regarding the mandatory quarantine requirement on passengers arriving in Turkey.

As per the new policy, which will go into effect on July 1, the quarantine period for passengers arriving from Pakistan and Afghanistan has been reduced from 14 to 10 days, a statement from the Foreign Office said.

Meanwhile, passengers arriving from Bangladesh, Brazil, India, Nepal, South Africa, and Sri Lanka will continue to observe the mandatory 14-day quarantine period.

“The Turkish authorities have also informed that additional details on quarantine arrangements including options for passengers from Pakistan will be issued soon,” the statement said.

“Based on the scientific data, the Turkish authorities have been requested to revisit the policy of mandatory quarantine requirement for passengers arriving from Pakistan. The Embassy of Pakistan will continue to remain engaged with the Turkish authorities on the matter,” it added.