Civil aviation authorities revise flight guidelines
The Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) has once again updated its flight guidelines, considering the improving trend of the Covid-19 situation around the globe in a bid to revive the aviation sector.
Speaking to Dhaka Tribune, airlines and civilian aviation officials said they are now planning to resume more flight operations to and from Bangladesh.
"We have provided the updated guidelines to the air operators, airports and passengers. This move aims to increase the number of passengers on both domestic and international routes," said CAAB Chairman Air Vice Marshal M Mafidur Rahman.
Currently, Bangladesh is operating scheduled international flights on 14 destinations -- Dubai, Muscat, Doha, Abu Dhabi, Canton, London, Kuala Lumpur, Dammam, Jeddah, Riyadh, Medina, Singapore, Kathmandu and Kuwait.
Flights with India resumed in early September under a bilateral air bubble agreement, after a suspension of over four months due to surging coronavirus infections in the neighbouring country.
In line with a recent decision of CAAB, no passengers are currently allowed in Bangladesh from 11 countries: Argentina, Botswana, Cuba, Cyprus, Eswatini, Georgia, Iran, Libya, Malaysia, Mongolia, and Spain.
Only Bangladeshi expatriates or citizens who have not visited these countries within 15 days of travel to Bangladesh are allowed to travel to and from Dhaka, provided that they have special approval from the authorities concerned.
Bangladeshis from all other countries will have to complete a 14-day strict home quarantine.
All incoming or outgoing passengers must possess RT-PCR-based Covid-19 negative certificates. The test should be done within 72 hours of the flight departure time.
Outgoing passengers should also follow the latest restrictions or requirements imposed by the transit or destination country.
What are the rules for Bangladeshis in highly travelled countries?
Soon after the detection of the Indian variant of Covid-19, many countries, including Canada, the UK, Australia, Singapore, Italy, Thailand, Malaysia, the UAE and Oman suspended flights with Bangladesh.
Travellers from Bangladesh – who are fully vaccinated with a UK-approved jab – are no longer required to be in a 10-day hotel quarantine as the country was moved to the amber list by the UK government on September 22.
Travellers who have been fully vaccinated with a Canada government-approved jab, at least 14 days before their arrival, will be allowed to enter the country.
All persons must have proof of a negative certificate and are encouraged to undergo testing for Covid-19 within three-five days of arrival and to self-isolate for a week. All must wear masks when using public conveyances.
Despite the travel restrictions, Bangladesh’s Foreign Ministry is hopeful of resuming flights from Dhaka to New York soon.
Passengers except for nationals and residents of Thailand are not allowed to enter and transit until September 30. But diplomatic passengers can travel and must be in quarantine for 14 days at their own expense.
All long-term pass holders and short-term visitors who have been to Bangladesh in the last 14 days will not be allowed to enter Singapore.
UAE and Malaysia
The Malaysian government, on September 21, lifted its entry restrictions for nationals from Bangladesh and other countries.
Meanwhile, the UAE on September 10 announced that residents who had been fully vaccinated with a WHO-approved jab will be allowed to enter the country.
However, they will have to undergo an RT-PCR test six hours prior to flying.
India and Saudi Arabia
Bangladeshis can enter India by following a 14-day self quarantine, while Saudi Arabia permits passengers from Bangladesh who are already vaccinated with two doses.
The latter are exempted from quarantine, but others must undergo a Covid-19 test and quarantine upon their arrival in Saudi Arabia.