Bangladesh has imposed a ban on passengers flights from European countries, except Britain, as well as 12 other countries, while having grounded all domestic air transport in the wake of a new week-long COVID-19 lockdown effective April 5 through April 12, 2021, due to increasing infections and deaths.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) in a NOTAM on April 4 confirmed that starting “0600L (0500Z) on April 5, 2021, until 2359L (2259Z) on April 11, 2021, all scheduled/non-scheduled domestic passenger flights and charter flights of helicopter/general aviation will remain suspended. However, medevac, humanitarian/ relief and corporate flights are out of the purview of this restriction. Standard disinfection, sanitization and social distancing procedure for passenger, crew, equipment and aircraft (inflight or on ground) shall strictly to be maintained/ followed for such flights”.

Domestic Bangladeshi operators include Biman Bangladesh Airlines, NovoAir, and US-Bangla Airlines.

This followed a NOTAM on March 31, in which CAAB announced that with effect from 0001L (2301Z) on April 3, 2021 until 2359L (2259Z) on April 18, 2021, passengers from European countries (except the UK), as well as countries listed below would not be allowed to enter Bangladesh:

  • Argentina;
  • Bahrain;
  • Brazil;
  • Chile;
  • Jordan;
  • Kuwait;
  • Lebanon;
  • Peru;
  • Qatar;
  • South Africa;
  • Turkey;
  • Uruguay.

Airlines operating scheduled passenger flights from all these countries would be allowed to carry only transit passengers to Bangladesh, subject to the conditions that the passengers remained confined inside the terminal building during their transit.

Irrespective of COVID-19 vaccination, all arrivals must present at departure a negative PCR test done within 72 hours before leaving from origin and on arrival at Bangladesh. Passengers still have to complete a 14-day home quarantine on arrival if they present no COVID-19 symptoms, or 14 days isolation at government facilities at their own expense if they do display symptoms.

The new restrictions are aimed at limiting the spread of a new wave of COVID-19 and contain new variants of the disease that have cropped up in several countries around the globe.

Bangladesh's Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) on April 1 reported 6,469 new COVID-19 infections, the highest increase in a single day since the pandemic started in the country. The national tally for COVID-19 infections has increased to 617,764 with 9,105 deaths, including 59 on April 1.