The Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh has approved the resumption of international passenger flights in and out of Bangladesh from Saturday, with certain strict rules in place.
Though flight services could resume, there were still heavy restrictions on travel from certain countries, the CAAB said in a statement, dated Apr 30, bdnews24.com reports.
The decision was made so that immigrant passengers who had been grounded in Bangladesh due to the lockdown could reach their destinations, the CAAB said.
The notice stated that special restrictions were in place for people travelling to and from 38 countries, dividing them into two categories — Group A and Group B.
India, South Africa and 10 other countries belong to Group A, which means no incoming or outgoing passengers are allowed in and out of these countries.
Only Bangladeshis with a history of travelling to these countries within the previous 15 days are allowed to fly to Dhaka, provided that they have special approval from Bangladeshi authorities there.
Any passenger from Group A will be required to complete a mandatory 14-day institutional quarantine at a government nominated hotel at their own expense. They also need to produce proof of the booking during check-in before their airline issues a boarding pass.
The 12 countries in Group A are Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Georgia, India, Iran, Mongolia, Oman, South Africa and Tunisia.
Incoming passengers from 26 countries under Group B are permitted to travel to Dhaka, but will have to complete a mandatory 14-day institutional quarantine at a government-nominated hotel at the passenger’s own expense. Incoming passengers will also have to show proof of hotel booking during check-in before they receive a boarding pass from their airline.
The 26 countries are Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belgium, Chile, Croatia, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iraq, Kuwait, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Paraguay, Peru, Qatar, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and Uruguay.
There are no restrictions on outgoing passengers to these countries.
An exception is made for incoming passengers originating from Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar, who are required to complete a three-day mandatory institutional quarantine at a government nominated facility or hotel and can be released for 11 days of home quarantine if they test negative for Covid.
Airlines will have to confirm a hotel booking or that there is space available at the appropriate government institutional quarantine facilities for these passengers before issuing a boarding pass.
Incoming and outgoing passengers from all other countries are allowed to travel to Dhaka and will have to complete a 14-day strict home quarantine upon arrival. However, if Covid-19 symptoms are detected they will be sent to a government-authorised hospital for a further checkup, depending on the intensity of the symptoms or into isolation at a government-nominated facility or hotel at the passengers’ expense.
All incoming and outgoing passengers, except children below the age of 10, are required to have a PCR-based Covid-19 negative certificate, with the test being done within 72 hours of the flight’s departure time.
Outgoing passengers will also have to follow the latest restrictions imposed by their countries of destination and transit.
Bangladesh suspended all flight operations on April 14 amid a massive spike in Covid-19 cases. Air carriers were allowed to resume domestic services, in a limited capacity, from April 21.
Special flights were also organised for migrant workers travelling to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar and Singapore. But Singapore will block entry to visitors with recent travel history to Bangladesh, starting Sunday.