The Baghdad International Airport restarted activities for the scheduled commercial flights on Thursday after months of staying closed during the coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic that has hit Iraq pretty hard in recent weeks.

Iraq suspended all the flights to and from Baghdad in the month of March, only irregular and the chartered flights were operating advance permission was needed for air travel.

Baghdad International Airport Restart Commercial Flight Activities

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Aeroplane (Representational Image) Reuters

The measures, which accompanied the closure of land borders and a general curfew that has been mostly in force since March, were taken to avoid the spread of the novel coronavirus. Iraq has recorded nearly 100,000 cases of infection and more than 4,000 deaths from COVID-19. Health ministry figures now regularly show more than 2,000 new cases each day.

Some passengers traveling from Baghdad airport are required to take a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test several days before their flights, depending on destination, a spokesman for the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority said. Incoming passengers are all required to take a test 48 hours before boarding Baghdad-bound flights, he said.

Passengers were being scanned for temperatures as they arrived at the airport, Reuters reporters said, and some social distancing was enforced at stages such as passport control but not while people boarded flights.

(With agency inputs)