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Coronavirus: Norway, Iran impose new travel restrictions on Pakistan

NORWAY, IRAN: Norway and Iran have introduced new travel restrictions on Pakistan amid the Indian variant of coronavirus.

Norway’s Justice and Public Security Minister Monica Maeland said, “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 travelers arriving from India and its neighboring countries,” he added.

The measures will come into effect on Wednesday 28 April at 12pm, he added. The new restrictions require travelers coming from India, Bangladesh, Iraq, Nepal, and Pakistan to stay at a quarantined hotel for seven days.

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

Meanwhile, Iran announced the closure of its borders with Pakistan in fear of the new variant found in India.

 The Customs Office Spokesman, Rouhollah Latifi said the Southeastern borders with Pakistan would only permit the return of Iranian and Pakistani nationals to their countries after the new ban is imposed on Wednesday.

Rouhollah Latifi told the media Iran will introduce “hygiene controls” on trucks arriving from Pakistan for the next 10 days.

Commercial trucks from Pakistan will undergo some strict checks and controls before loading and unloading, he added.

Iran had banned air travel from Pakistan and India amid fears that the Indian variant of the coronavirus could spread in the country.

Earlier, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) had extended travel restrictions for international passengers arriving from 23 countries in its Category C till April 30 amid a spike in Covid-19 cases.

The CAA issued a new notification regarding the extension of travel restrictions on Category C countries following the directives of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC).

According to the notification, those coming from countries in Category C will have to take prior permission from the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC). The nationals, NICOPs and POC cardholders will also be banned to arrive in Pakistan.

China, Saudi Arabia, New Zealand, Japan and Australia are among the ‘Category A’ countries according to CAA. The travellers from these 20 countries (Category A) will not have to present their Covid reports for boarding or landing in Pakistan.

Nevertheless, those coming from countries in Category B will have to make sure a negative Covid PCR report at a maximum of 90 hours prior to boarding.

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