Pakistanis stranded around the world as a result of global coronavirus lockdown measures will no longer have to wait for special approval and flight tickets to return to Pakistan, the countries Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development said in a tweet Wednesday.
Travellers will be able to buy tickets directly from the airlines not embassy/consulate. #mophrd— Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis & HRD 🇵🇰 (@mophrd) June 17, 2020
The tweets from the Ministry noted that all airlines were now allowed to operate, but that travelers would still need to undertake 14 days of self-quarantine at home after arrival.
Over 80,000 Pakistanis have already returned, the ministry said, and around 40,000 have been laid off from work.
“We will ensure they are helped out once they return,” the Ministry said.
Around 40,000 to 45,000 overseas Pakistanis will be repatriated per week from Saturday onwards, the Ministry concluded.
On Monday, officials warned that the number of coronavirus infections in the country could double by the end of June, and rising to 1.2 million by the end of July if Pakistan’s people continue to not comply with virus precautions, such as wearing a face mask.
Pakistan has recently halted some of its coronavirus lockdown easing plans, with markets remaining closed on weekends and large wedding halls, restaurants and gymnasiums extending closures. Large gatherings are also banned.