In accordance with recommendations from the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) Pakistan will implement revised inbound air travel rules starting November 10.
In an NCOC meeting which was held on Wednesday, it was noted that “owing to mass vaccination undertaken by various countries, a downward trend has been witnessed in all COVID indicators across the globe”, a presser stated.
The NCOC statement further noted that vaccination for inbound travel to Pakistan was enforced from October 1, but now, the COVID-related travel policy and testing protocols have been revised.
As per the statement, inbound air traffic will operate “at full quantum” with effect from November 10, 2021
As per the new rules, countries have been placed into categories ‘B’ and ‘C’, with each category necessitating the fulfillment of certain testing criteria.
According to NCOC, Armenia, Bulgari, Costa Rica, Iraq and Mexico have been placed in category ‘C’ on the basis of high positivity, high daily COVID cases and deaths and low vaccination rate.
Additionally, Mongolia, Slovenia Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago and Ukraine have been designated as “high-risk countries”
Moreover, in the wake of “high disease” indicators, Russia, Iran, Ethiopia, Germany, Philippines and Afghanistan have been placed on a high-risk list for continuous monitoring, however, no travel restrictions have been imposed on them, NCOC stated.
Furthermore, all countries, including high-risk countries not in category ‘C’, are placed in category ‘B’ with no inbound travel restrictions, NCOC stated.
The health and testing protocols for inbound air travel go into effect on November 5. The protocols state that 100% vaccination is mandatory for all inbound passengers.
Adding to that, all travellers aged 6 and above, whether locals or foreigners, should be in possession of a negative PCR test report (max 72 hours old) before boarding the plane.
Moreover, Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) on arrival at airport for all inbound passengers has been abolished, except for people travelling via direct a flight from category ‘C’ and high-risk countries. Selective flights/symptomatic passengers from category ‘B’ countries will also undergo RAT.
Furthermore, testing protocols are also applicable for all inbound border terminals, except for Afghanistan. Afghani inbound pedestrians can travel to Pakistan through border terminals without vaccination certificates or PCR tests. However, they will undergo stringent testing and quarantine protocols as already outlined.