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Updated 11 November 2021
In its bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus, Pakistan has severely limited international flights to and from the country. Naturally, its close proximity to India further debilitates Pakistan’s travel and tourism industry as it is now being red-listed by several governments worldwide.
So who can travel internationally into and from Pakistan? What are the requirements? Which country is currently open for Pakistani travellers? Here is everything you need to know about the latest Pakistan international flight news.
Who can enter Pakistan now?
Pakistan is accepting inbound international travellers from all over the world. As per thelatest rules, countries have been placed into categories ‘B’ and ‘C’. Entry to Pakistan from “C Category” countries is restricted and travellers may only enter under specific NCOC guidelines. The following are the “C Category” countries:
- Costa Rica
- South Africa
- Trinidad & Tobago
All countries, including high-risk countries not in category ‘C’, are placed in category ‘B’ with no inbound travel restrictions
Passengers must present a COVID-19 vaccination certificate showing that they were fully vaccinated for inbound travel to Pakistan. The vaccines approved in Pakistan are:
- Sputnik V
The following categories will be exempted from the vaccination requirement:
- Travellers below 18 years of age.
- Travellers with a medical certificate specifying that they cannot be vaccinated due to medical reasons.
Quarantine and testing requirements for arrivals to Pakistan
All travellers of age 6 years and above, visiting Pakistan need to carry evidence of a negative COVID-19 test taken up to 72 hours before the start of travel.
Travellers to Pakistan will also be required to provide their contact information through the Pass Track App or through a web-based form. If necessary you may also be able to fill in a health declaration form on arrival.
The following passengers are exempted from the Pass Track app and the RT-PCR testing requirement:
- Passengers below the age of six years.
- Disabled passengers.
- High-level international delegations.
- Pakistani deportees
- The crew are not required to download the Pakistan Pass Track app. However, they must comply with RT‑PCR/ Rapid Antigen Test testing requirements.
As per the Ministry of National Health Services, other COVID-19 tests equivalent to RT-PCR tests are also allowed. These tests include:
- COVID-19 Real-Time RT-PCR
- COVID-19 PCR
- SARS-CoV2 GeneXpert
- SARS-CoV2 PCR
- SARS-CoV2 Real-Time RT-PCR
- SARS-CoV2 RT-PCR
- SARS-CoV2 Xpert Xpress.
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.
- Positive testing passengers between age of 6 and 12 years will be Home Quarantined under the supervision of concerned Civil Administration
- Positive testing passengers above 12 years of age will be Quarantined at a designated facility as per procedure already in-vogue.
Check the province-wise list of quarantine facilities in Pakistan here.
Where can Pakistanis travel now?
With numerous countries currently implementing travel bans on Pakistan, viable overseas destinations are now few and far between. However, there remain countries to which Pakistani travellers are still permitted to enter Make sure you’ve been fully vaccinated, because the government is set to ban unvaccinated people from air travel starting August.
Travel ban on unvaccinated citizens
Starting 1 August, the vaccine certificates will become a must-have for domestic travel. The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has made it mandatory for people to get fully vaccinated before travelling by air, starting September 10.
The latest measures come after an increase in coronavirus cases was witnessed throughout the country, as well as the impending threat of an outbreak of the Delta variant.
The Americas and Caribbean
No quarantine required
- Belize. Either a negative PCR test result or proof of having received two full doses of a COVID-19 vaccine is required.
- Ecuador. Passengers aged 2 and above must have one of the following documents. A completed “Declaracion de salud del viajero” must be presented upon arrival.
- a negative COVID-19 antigen or RT-PCR test taken at most 3 days before arrival
- a COVID-19 vaccination certificate, or a
- COVID-19 recovery certificate.
- El Salvador. Visitors need an LAMP, NAAT, RT-PCR test result issued within 72 hours of the scheduled arrival, or proof of vaccination. Passengers younger than 2 years and those having a diplomatic passport are exempt from this.
- Guatemala. Arrivals need to present one of the following-
- COVID–19 vaccine certificate proving the vaccine was administered at least two weeks prior to arrival
- a negative COVID–19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival
- proof of having tested positive for COVID–19 and recovered within three months of arrival
- Guyana. All passengers must take a test at least 7 days prior to arrival and have a negative PCR COVID-19 certificate upon entry.
- Honduras. You must fill an Immigration Pre-check form and present a negative COVID-19 test result upon arrival from a test taken in the previous 72 hours.
- Panama. Travellers have to show a negative COVID-19 PCR, RT-PCR, or Antigen test result, taken at most 48 hours before arrival and need to take a second test on arrival. A completed “Declaracion Jurada de Salud” must be presented upon arrival. Quarantine is necessary for 3 days on arrival.
- Paraguay. Visitors must have a medical certificate with a negative COVID-19 LAMP, NAAT or RT-PCR test result, taken at most 72 hours before arrival, and international medical insurance with coverage of coronavirus treatment costs. Passengers must complete a “Traveler’s Health Information” at most 24 hours before departure.
- Mexico. Arriving passengers are not required to obtain a negative COVID test to enter Mexico.
- The Dominican Republic. Travellers are not required to take any pre-departure tests but will be subject to randomized breath testing and health screening on arrival. Quarantine is required only if you exhibit symptoms of COVID-19. Passengers must complete an “Electronic Ticket” form.
- The USA. Passengers entering or transiting through the USA must have a negative COVID-19 test taken at most 3 days before departure from the first embarkation point. Tests accepted are antigen, NAAT, RT-LAMP, RT-PCR or TMA.
- Venezuela. All travellers entering Venezuela must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test performed within 48 hours of boarding their incoming flight and will be subjected to a COVID-19 test at port of entry.
- Bermuda. Passengers must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken at most 5 days before arrival. Unvaccinated travellers will need to quarantine for 14 days in a hotel at their own expense. The hotel must be booked here. A travel authorization needs to be obtained at most 3 days before departure.
- St. Kitts & Nevis. The authorities of St. Kitts & Nevis have recently announced that the islands will only accept fully vaccinated travellers henceforth. A negative PCR test issued within 72 hours prior to departure is also required.
No quarantine required
- Cape Verde. No test or quarantine required.
- Djibouti. Quarantine not required if COVID test result returns negative.
- Ethiopia. Quarantine required for Passengers without negative COVID-19 RT-PCR certificate.
- Ghana. Quarantine not required if COVID test result returns negative.
- Kenya. Quarantine not required if COVID test result returns negative.
- Mozambique. Quarantine not required when presenting a valid negative test result.
- Rwanda. Passengers entering or transiting through Rwanda must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken at most 72 hours before departure from the first embarkation point. No quarantine is necessary unless arriving from India or Uganda.
- Seychelles. The country is welcoming all visitors from any part of the world as long as they have had a negative PCR test performed within 72 hours of departure for Seychelles. Fully vaccinated travellers can enter Seychelles without quarantine.
- Somalia. Must present a negative COVID test and will be quarantined if showing symptoms.
- South Africa. A health screening and negative PCR test are required for all countries. Depending on screening results, quarantine may be required. Passengers entering or transiting through South Africa must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test result issued at most 72 hours before departure from the first embarkation point.
- Tanzania. Arriving passengers from the UAE are not required to obtain a negative COVID test to enter Tanzania, unless exhibiting symptoms.
- Togo. Quarantine not required if COVID test result returns negative.
- Uganda. Travelers showing symptoms of COVID-19 will be tested upon arrival and required to quarantine until results are in.
- Zambia. Must present a negative COVID test and will be quarantined if showing symptoms.
Asia, Oceania and the South Pacific
- Afghanistan. Passengers must have a negative PCR test report taken at least 96 hours prior. Passengers must carry 2 printed copies of COVID-19 test certificate (SMS, WhatsApp digital certificates, are not acceptable). Children below 12 years of age are exempt. If a passenger cannot produce a PCR report, they will be tested on arrival at Kabul airport by Afghani Government officials.
- China. Special flights passengers from Pakistan are required to provide 2 Nucleic Acid tests for COVID-19 with a negative result. Passengers must carry 2 printed copies of COVID-19 test certificate (SMS, WhatsApp/digital certificates are not acceptable). The first test is to be taken within 120 hours (5 days), and the second test is to be taken within 36 hours (3 days) prior to boarding. Passengers of regular commercial flights to China, or transferring from flights via other countries, are required to provide a nucleic acid test for COVID-19 with negative results within 3 days.
- Kyrgyzstan. Special charter flights from Islamabad and Lahore to Bishkek are available. Pakistani citizens who hold any valid visa (student/visit/work) can travel to Bishkek. All passengers must have a negative PCR test taken within 72 hrs. Passengers must carry 2 printed copies of COVID-19 test certificate (SMS, WhatsApp/digital certificates are not acceptable). Passengers ensure that the lab certificate must contain details e.g. Destination, Test Type, Report Validity and bears the stamp or signature.
- Uzbekistan. All Passengers must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test result. The test must have been taken at most 72 hours before the departure of the flight to Uzbekistan. The test result must be in English or Russian (NIH-approved Test Lab having BAR/QR Codes are acceptable). PCR exemption is for infants only (i.e. less than 2 years old).
Please note that the test requirements for the above destinations must be taken in acceptable labs with barcodes.
No quarantine required
- Albania. Except for screening measures in the presence of medical personnel, there are no testing requirements.
- Bosnia and Herzegovina. Passengers must have a medical certificate with a negative Coronavirus PCR test result issued at most 48 hours before arrival.
- Kosovo. Travellers must have a negative RT-PCR test certificate for COVID-19 done in the last 72 hours. Quarantine is mandated only if you don’t carry the certificate.
- Serbia. Passengers must have a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test result issued at most 48 hours before arrival. Quarantine is mandated only if you don’t carry the result.
- Montenegro. Passengers must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test result issued at most 72 hours before departure from the first embarkation point. This doesn’t apply to passengers with a COVID-19 vaccination certificate if they have received the second dose at least 7 days before arrival and those with a positive serological -IgG antibodies test result issued at most 30 days before arrival.
Countries implementing travel ban on Pakistani travellers
On March 20 2020, Australia closed its borders to international travel for visitors from most countries until mid 2022. Travellers from Pakistan are also barred from entry in light of this restriction. As of now, only Australian and New Zealand citizens and residents are allowed entry into the island country.
Passengers who in the past 21 days have been in or transited through Pakistan for more than 2 hours are not allowed to enter Hong Kong as per the latest guidelines. Only fully vaccinated Foreign Domestic Helpers with valid employment visa and the fully vaccinated Hong Kong residents will be permitted to enter Hong Kong from Pakistan.
The Japanese government has decided to further tighten entry restrictions by banning foreign residents travelling from Pakistan.
Until recently, foreign nationals with a valid resident status and Japanese citizens who had traveled to these three countries were allowed to re-enter Japan because they spent the first six days of a two-week quarantine at a government-designated facility. In the midst of Japan’s third state of emergency, however, officials have decided to temporarily deny re-entry to foreign residents who are flying in from Pakistan.
The entry ban is in effect from May 14. It is unclear as to how long the restriction will be in place for. Japanese nationals will still be able to re-enter the country.
Travel from Pakistan to New Zealand has been temporarily restricted to only New Zealand citizens, partners and dependent children of New Zealand citizens, and parents of dependent children who are New Zealand citizens from April 28.
From 26 October 2021, travellers from earlier banned countries such as India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka who have received entry approvals will be allowed to enter Singapore. Only citizens and permanent residents of Singapore and travellers under the Death and Critical Illness Emergency Visits Lane are permitted entry.