New coronavirus safety rules for passengers as PIA resumes UAE flights

A man enters the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) office in Islamabad, Pakistan, April 12, 2016. (REUTERS)
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Updated 10 July 2020

New coronavirus safety rules for passengers as PIA resumes UAE flights

  • Passengers will have to get tested 48 hours prior to departure and present a negative report at check-in, PIA says
  • PIA has been operating one-way flights to repatriate Pakistanis stranded in the Emirates but now has permission to resume regular operations

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s national flag carrier, Pakistan International Airlines, on Thursday resumed regular flight operations to the United Arab Emirates with new rules to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The rate of COVID-19 cases has been rising fast in Pakistan, with 4,983 deaths and 240,848 infections as of Thursday morning. 

“Now PIA passengers will be able to travel from Pakistan to Dubai, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Al Ain and vice versa, through the airline’s regular flights,” the PIA spokesperson said in a statement.

However, he said passengers would now be required to get tested for coronavirus 48 hours prior to flight departure and a negative test report would have to be presented at the time of check-in. Passengers would also be required to fill a health declaration form online.

PIA has been operating one-way relief flights to repatriate Pakistanis stranded in the Emirates but now had permission to operate regular flights again, the statement said.

“Passengers can book and purchase their tickets through PIA Offices, Corporate website and its travel agents,” PIA said.

Earlier this month UAE airline Emirates resumed flights to Pakistan after a brief suspension but made coronavirus clearance obligatory for all passengers, including asking that passengers from Pakistan carry a negative COVID-19 report from a laboratory approved by the airline.


Pakistan to resume middle school classes tomorrow despite rising COVID-19 infections

Updated 22 September 2020

Pakistan to resume middle school classes tomorrow despite rising COVID-19 infections

  • Dozens of educational institutions around the country were closed this week over violation of virus standard operating proce­dures and detection of new cases
  • Earlier this month, government announced it would allow the “phased” reopening of all educational institutions from September 15

ISLAMABAD: The National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) on Tuesday said middle schools across the country would resume regular classes as scheduled from tomorrow, September 23, Radio Pakistan reported, despite coronavirus cases being detected in educational institutes around the country this past week.
Schools were closed in March when the government enforced a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus. Authorities started lifting strict curbs in May and last month allowed almost all businesses and the tourism sector to reopen.
Earlier this month, the Pakistani government announced it would be allowing the “phased” reopening of all educational institutions from September 15.
All higher educational institutions including universities, intermediate and professional colleges, reopened from September 15, while grades six through eighth grade were to reopen on September 23 and primary schools would resume classes from September 30.
Following the decision of the NCOC to resume middle school classes from Wednesday, Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa officially announced that classes would start tomorrow. However, Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani said schools in the province would reopen on September 28.
Dozens of educational institutions around the country were closed this week over violation of standard operating proce­dures (SOPs) and detection of Covid-19 cases among students, teachers and other staff.
But Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood said on Saturday that a hasty decision to close down schools again would “destroy education.”
“6 months closure deeply affected the students. Decision to open was taken with great care,” he wrote on Twitter. ” Any hasty decision to close will destroy education.”

The education minister of Punjab province, Murad Raas, said on Twitter:
“All Public & Private Schools will be allowed classes 6 through 8 starting September 23rd. It is imperative for everyone to follow SOPs ... All of us have to play our part to make this successful InshAllah.”