Special conditions will be applicable to 38 countries
The Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) has decided to resume international commercial flights to a selected group of countries. And Considering the risk of Covid-19 transmission, from Saturday.
A circular was published on Friday imposing special conditions on travel to 38 countries. And said a press release from CAAB on Saturday.
Earlier, all international flights were suspended from April 14. As the government imposed a strict lockdown from that day to contain the spread of Covid-19.
“Following the government guidance and instruction, with effect from 0001 BST on 1st May 2021. Until further notice, scheduled passenger flights between Dhaka and some selected countries shall resume operation as per their approved time slots under Summer-2021 schedule. Mentionable that Air Bubble flights will remain suspended until further notice,” the circular said.
It also made mandatory for all incoming and outgoing passengers, except for children below the age of 10, to possess a PCR-based Covid-19 negative certificate.
“The PCR test shall be done within 72 hours of the flight departure time,” it said.
For incoming and outgoing flights, CAAB also instructed that both narrow-body or wide-body aircraft will keep at least the last row of the economy class and one seat of business class (unless otherwise instructed) cabin vacant for any suspected Covid-19 positive passenger(s).
Moreover, all health directives, including disinfection, social distancing, and other procedures at the airport or in the aircraft, shall be followed strictly along with other CAAB directives, it added.
According to the circular, countries have been categorized under three groups — A, B and C — for transporting passengers.
For countries under Group A, no incoming (as the point of origin) or outgoing passengers will be allowed to and from Bangladesh.
Only Bangladeshi expatriates/citizens on a visit (not residing) to these countries in the last 15 days will be allowed to travel to Dhaka. And provided that they have special approval or authorization from Bangladesh authorities.
On arrival, they will complete a mandatory 14-day institutional quarantine at a government nominated hotel at their own expense, the circular said.
This group includes Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Georgia, India, Iran, Mongolia, Oman, South Africa and Tunisia.
For Group B countries, incoming passengers (as the point of origin) are permitted to travel to Dhaka.
They will also have to complete a mandatory 14-day institutional quarantine at government nominated hotels at their own expenses. There is no restriction on the outgoing passengers to these countries.
This group includes Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belgium, Chile, Croatia, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iraq, Kuwait, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Paraguay, Peru, Qatar, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and Uruguay.
Passengers from these countries can have transit via Group A countries, provided that the passengers remain confined within the airport under the close supervision of the airlines, said the circular.
It also made an exception for incoming passengers from Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar where they would complete a mandatory three-day institutional quarantine at government nominated facilities or at hotels at their own expenses.
“Airlines shall be confirmed that seats are available at the government institutional quarantine facilities or the passenger have the proof of hotel reservation for institutional quarantine. If seats are not available at the government institutional quarantine facilities. The passenger shall be boarded in the flight only after ensuring the confirmation of hotel reservation,” it added.
Upon completion of the three-day quarantine, a medical test will be carried out. The passenger will be released to complete a total of 11 days home quarantine if the test result is satisfactory.
In case of unsatisfactory result, the passenger shall be sent for isolation at a government-nominated facility at own expenses or continue with the institutional quarantine.
Incoming and outgoing passengers will be allowed to and from countries that were not included in the previous two groups. Incoming passengers from these countries of origin will have to complete 14-day strict home quarantine.
However, if any Covid-19 symptoms are detected/observed on arrival. He/she shall be sent to a government-authorized hospital for a further check-up. Otherwise depending on the nature/intensity of the symptoms. Will be sent to isolation at government nominated facilities or hotel at passenger’s own expenses, the circular said.
Passengers from Group C countries can have transit via the countries of Group A and B, provided. The passengers remained confined within the airport under the close supervision of the airlines.
Meanwhile, CAAB also said that quarantine (institutional/home) formalities for the diplomats. And their family members shall be as per the decision of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.