Bangladesh will impose a 16-day ban from Monday on the entry of Europeans and travellers from several countries, including India, as part of measures to combat the fast-spreading coronavirus pandemic.
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen announced the travel ban on Saturday in a desperate effort to limit the spread of the new coronavirus. He said the ban would be effective from Sunday midnight. But the country deferred the travel ban by 12 hours to evade a chaotic situation.
"The deadline has been extended to evade a chaotic situation as several Bangladesh-bound aircrafts are still in the sky," Civil Aviation and Tourism Secretary M Mohibul Haque told PTI this evening.
The ban would exclude people travelling from Britain but those passengers must ensure that they did not visit any severely coronavirus-hit countries in the last 28 days.
The ban is meant for Bangladesh-bound travellers from all European countries except the UK and other nations which restricted Bangladeshi citizen's entry to their territories over coronavirus fears.
The countries which shut down their doors for Bangladeshi citizens are India, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar.
"We will reciprocate their decision in an identical manner . . . but the ban will be imposed both for foreigners and Bangladesh nationals,” the state-run BSS quoted Momen as telling Bangladesh's state-run BSS news agency this evening.
The World Health Organisation earlier this week declared Europe as the new coronavirus epicentre.