TEHRAN (Dispatches) – Foreign passengers arriving at Iran’s main international airport must provide negative COVID-19 test results or they will be deported, a senior aviation official said on Saturday.
"Passengers with non-Iranian nationality will not be allowed into the country and will be deported if they do not produce a negative coronavirus test result,” said Muhammad Reza Karimian, deputy director of Imam Khomeini airport (IKA).
Karimian said that deportation would only apply to non-Iranian citizens and others failing to provide a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test will have to pay the costs of tests and accept a 48-hour quarantine.
The PCR tests should be carried out less than four days before arrival in Iran by qualified authorities in the country of embarkation and results should be in English, said the official.
He said even passengers with a negative test result could be subject to quarantine if they are deemed suspicious of having the coronavirus on arrival at IKA, an airport located to the southwest of Tehran.
A spokesman of the Iranian health ministry said on Saturday the number of coronavirus cases in the country had risen by 2,548 over the past 24 hours to 306,752.
Sima Sadat Lari said some 16,982 people had died, including 216 patients who passed away over the past 24 hours. In total, 265,830 patients have recovered over been discharged from hospital so far, she added.
President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday coronavirus cases have peaked in ten provinces.
The president said reports from the provinces were promising as he praised the people for observing health protocols.
Rouhani said strict measures in place to contain the disease are obligatory and must continue until a viable vaccine is available.
The president also said the governors of provinces where the pace of infections is high have been given the freedom to make their own decisions.