The Pakistan government has the government has abolished the 48-hour quarantine condition for air travellers and would instead be sent to their homes after a medical check-up and test at the airports, aviation sources said.
The sources said that the government changed the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the international air travellers simultaneously with easing the lockdown and coronavirus-induced travel restrictions in the country, The Express Tribune reported on Thursday.
They added that the decision was taken because the capacity at the quarantine centres had been contracting owing to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases.
According to the new SOPs, all passengers would undergo a complete medical check-up at the airports, while the staff deputed by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and provincial health departments at the airports will test the travellers for coronavirus.
After the medical check-up and the coronavirus test, the passengers will be allowed to go their homes, instead of the quarantine centre, if they do not show any COVID-19 symptoms.
The decision about suspected coronavirus patients had been left on the discretion of doctors.
Under the new policy, all the passengers will be checked at the health counters of the airports.
The record will carry the names and addresses of suspected coronavirus travellers and will be quarantined at home upon not showing any symptoms.
On Wednesday, the NIH team conducted medical check-ups and coronavirus tests of all the passengers including 281 travellers coming from the US and 253 travellers coming from Saudi Arabia in a special PIA flight at the Islamabad airport, after which all the travellers were permitted to go to their homes.