Singapore bars Pakistani travellers from transiting and entering country

In view of the rising number of COVID-19 cases, Singapore has decided to ban Pakistani travellers  from entering the country.

It will also not allow them to transit via the city-state from May 1 onwards, read a statement issued by the country’s Health Ministry.

“We will further tighten our border measures given the sustained increase in cases reported in the regions around Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka,” the statement said.

The ministry shared that right now Singapore has made it compulsory for travellers coming from Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka to Singapore to go through a 14-day stay at home notice (SHN) at a dedicated government facility. The country uses SHN as an alternate for quarantine.

“From 1 May 2021, 2359 hours, until further notice, all long-term pass holders and short-term visitors with recent travel history (including transit) to Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka within the last 14 days will not be allowed entry into Singapore, or transit through Singapore,” said the health ministry regarding the latest restrictions.

Singapore said that the rule will also be applicable on “all those those who had obtained prior approval for entry into Singapore”.

The city-state said that travellers that have come to Singapore before May 1 from the four South Asian countries and are still completing their 14-day isolation by May 2 “will need to complete an additional seven-day SHN at dedicated SHN facilities”.

“They will undergo COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests on arrival, on Day 14 of their SHN, and another test before the end of their 21-day SHN period,” said the ministry.

Norway, Iran, Qatar introduce travel restrictions for Pakistanis

Earlier this week, Norway and Iran had become the latest countries to impose restrictions or close their borders to Pakistani citizens entering their country out of fear of the dangerous Indian variant of coronavirus.

“The rate of infections is very high in India, among other countries. In order to limit the risk of imported cases of new COVID-19 variants, we are now introducing stricter entry restrictions for travellers arriving from India and its neighbouring countries, as well as Iraq”, Norway’s Justice and Public Security Minister Monica Maeland was quoted as saying in a statement.

Under the new rules, travellers coming from Bangladesh, India, Iraq, Nepal, and Pakistan will now be required to stay at a quarantine hotel.

“This means that people who undertake necessary travel to these countries will also be required to stay at a quarantine hotel,” said the statement.

The European country said that the measures will come into effect on Wednesday 28 April at 12pm.

Iran closes land borders with Pakistan

Separately, Iran announced the closure of its land border with Pakistan in fear of the coronavirus cases being reported from India, reported Fars News Agency.

“The Southeastern borders with Pakistan would only allow the return of Iranian and Pakistani nationals to their countries after the new ban is imposed on Wednesday,” said a statement issued by the Iranian customs office that was quoted by the publication.

Iranian Customs Office Spokesman Rouhollah Latifi said that the Iranian government will introduce “hygiene controls” on trucks arriving from Pakistan for the next 10 days. He added that commercial vessels from Pakistan will only be allowed to load and unload at Iranian ports after going through some strict checks and controls.

Last week, Iran had banned flights from India and Pakistan over fears that an Indian variant of the coronavirus could spread in the country.

Qatar issues quarantine policy for Pakistani travellers

On the other hand, Qatar’s Public Health Ministry revised the hotel quarantine policy for travellers coming from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and the Philippines.

Qatari newspaper The Peninsula reported that as per the new policy, a 10-day hotel quarantine for all travellers from the six countries is mandatory even if they are vaccinated against COVID-19.

Apart from this, the travellers will also have to have a negative PCR COVID-19 test taken from the designated health facilities 48 hours before their departure for Qatar.

“The travellers will undergo a repeat PCR test at their quarantine facility within 24 hours of their arrival, and will be tested again before the end of their quarantine period,” said the publication.

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