COVID-19 Information

COVID-19 Information

Last updated:   [05/07/21]

*** Effective January 26, all airline passengers to the United States ages two years and older must provide a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel.  Alternatively, travelers to the United States may provide documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel.  Check the CDC website for additional information and Frequently Asked Questions.

Country-Specific Information

  • On April 23, The Pakistani government deployed the army to enforce public safety restrictions and imposed a partial lockdown in virus hotspots, closing education institutions in areas with a 5 percent positivity rate or higher, banning public gatherings, sports events, and wedding ceremonies.
  • A nationwide “Stay Home Stay Safe” order will be in effect from May 8 to May 16. All markets, businesses, and shops must close, except for essential services such as grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, and utilities providers.
  • Some streets, neighborhoods, and commercial zones are currently under lockdown in Pakistan’s major cities.
  • COVID-19 transmission continues throughout the country; and Pakistan has recorded more than 784,000 confirmed cases including at least 17,000 deaths since October 2020.  The healthcare system is showing signs of stress with the government noting that 90 percent of oxygen supplies are already being used to treat COVID-19 patients. Hospitals are reported to be turning away patients when they have reached capacity and/or due to staffing shortages.  Detailed information is available on the Government of Pakistan’s Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations, and Coordination website, accessible here.

COVID-19 Testing

  • Are PCR and/or antigen tests available for U.S. citizens in Pakistan?  Yes.  Both viral antigen and RT-PCR tests are available.
  • If so, are test results reliably available within 72 hours?  Yes.  Currently labs are regularly able to provide COVID-19 test results within the required timeframe.  Testing is currently available both to individuals with symptoms as well as for asymptomatic individuals who need a test for administrative reasons, such as for preflight.
  • Test results are regularly available in English.
  • U.S. citizens departing Pakistan can obtain COVID-19 tests from any government or private hospital or lab of their choice.  For a list of hospitals and labs providing COVID-19 tests, please check the Government of Pakistan’s Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations, and Coordination website, accessible here, or email info@nhsrc.gov.pk.  Some airlines may only accept results from certain facilities.  Please contact your airline for a list of these testing sites and requirements.  Travelers should research labs and ensure the facility of their choosing provides all necessary documentation and meets all necessary requirements.
  • The average price of the COVID-19 test is between 6000 and 9000 PKR.  The individual is responsible for the cost of the test.  Results are delivered via email.
  • For information on limited humanitarian exemptions to CDC’s requirement that all U.S.-bound travelers present a negative COVID test, please review the following page: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/covid-testing-required-us-entry.html.  Humanitarian exemptions to this order will be granted on an extremely limited basis and will only be considered when emergency travel is required to preserve health and safety (e.g., medical evacuation), and the country of departure lacks adequate COVID-19 testing capacity.   To submit information in support of an exemption, email COVID-Testing-Waiver-PKST@state.gov.

COVID-19 Vaccine Information:

  • Has the Government of Pakistan approved a COVID-19 vaccine for use?  Yes. 
  • Are vaccines available in Pakistan for U.S. citizens to receive? The Government of Pakistan has authorized the private sector to import COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Which vaccines are available in Pakistan?  While the Government of Pakistan has approved four vaccines for emergency use – AstraZeneca, SinoPharm, Sputnik V, and CanSinoBIO – only Sinopharm and CanSinoBio are available to Pakistani citizens over the age of 39, and supply is limited. AstraZeneca vaccines through COVAX are scheduled to arrive May 8, dependent on flight availability.  The U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s information about COVID-19 vaccines can be found at https://www.fda.gov/emergency-preparedness-and-response/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/covid-19-vaccines.
  • You may find the latest information about vaccine availability in Pakistan on the country’s COVID-19 website here.
  • Information from the CDC regarding COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Visit the FDA’s website to learn more about FDA-approved vaccines in the United States.
  • The Department of State does not provide direct medical care to private U.S. citizens overseas.  Please follow host country developments and guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination.

Entry and Exit Requirements

  • Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter?  Yes.
  • Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry?  Yes. 
  • Pakistan’s Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation, and Coordination periodically issues updated guidelines for arriving passengers.  Check current policies here.  The Pakistani Civil Aviation Authority’s (PCAA) latest implementation guidelines began May 5, 2021Stay current on your airline’s requirements for initiating a journey to Pakistan.
  • The Government of Pakistan ordered an 80 percent reduction of international flight operations from May 5 to May 20.  International air traffic to Pakistan will operate at a reduced level – passengers should check directly with their airlines for changes in flight itineraries or schedules.
  • All passengers are required to install and register on the Pass Track app prior to issuance of a boarding pass to Pakistan at point of original embarkation (available for Android and Apple devices).
  • Passengers who do not have android/Apple phones and are unable to download the Pass Track app will need to enter their data on an accessible web-based form and provide a paper printout of the form prior to issuance of a boarding pass to Pakistan at point of original embarkation.
  • All passengers will also have to fill out a health declaration form (HDF) before landing (see Questionnaire for Travelers).
  • Countries are categorized into Category A, B, or C primarily based on epidemiological risk assessment, reviewed every two weeks by the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations, and Coordination.
  • Travelers arriving from Category A countries:
    • Show proof of a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR (real-time, reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) test result taken within 72 hours of commencement of original travel.
  • Travelers arriving from Category B countries (as of May 6 the United States falls under this category):
  • Show proof of a negative RT-PCR test result taken within 72 hours of commencement of original travel.
  • Travelers arriving from Category C countries:  Effective from March 23 there is a complete ban on inbound travel to Pakistan from Category C countries, including withdrawal of exemptions earlier provided.  International travelers from Category C countries are restricted and only allowed as guided by the Pakistan National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC).
  • Are health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry?  Yes.
    • Upon arrival, all travelers will line up six feet (two meters) apart and undergo thermo-screening by thermo-guns and/or thermo-scanners.  Effective May 5, all inbound travelers to Pakistan will be required to take a Rapid Antigen Test upon arrival at the airport (see Quarantine Information below).  Detailed information for arriving passengers is available in the Guidelines for International Passengers Arriving at Airports in Pakistan.  For the most up-to-date information regarding visa extensions for residents and/or tourists, please visit here.

Movement Restrictions

  • Is a curfew in place?  No.
  • There are government “smart” lockdowns (i.e., small localities, such as a building with multiple units, streets, and small neighborhoods, may be sealed to limit the spread of the coronavirus).  Hours of operation for businesses may be reduced in localities under these targeted lockdowns.
  • Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel?  Yes.  The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) announced a ban on inter-provincial road travel over the weekend, beginning April 10.  Goods, freight, medical, and other essential services are exempt.
  • A ban on inbound pedestrian border crossings from Afghanistan and Iran into Pakistan went into effect May 5.

Quarantine Information 

  • Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine?  Yes

Transportation Options

  • Are commercial flights operating?  Yes.
  • Is public transportation operating?  Yes.
    • According to the Government of Pakistan, individuals using public transportation – trains or buses – should wear facemasks and keep a distance of at least six feet from other individuals.  Additional information is available here.

Fines for Non-Compliance

  • The Pakistan National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) announced October 28, 2020, that, effective immediately, to prevent the spread of COVID-19, masks must be worn when in public, countrywide.  Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) ordered masks must be worn in public places, including bazaars, shopping malls, and restaurants or while using public transport.  ICT’s announcement warns those not following the order may be subject to legal action.

Consular Operations

  • American Citizen Services:  The ability of U.S. embassies and consulates to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens continues to be limited.  The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad and U.S. Consulates General in Karachi and Lahore have resumed limited routine services, including passport, Consular Report of Birth Abroad, and notarial services.
  • Please click here for more information on services for U.S. citizens.
  • Visa Services:  The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad has resumed immigrant and non-immigrant visa interviews.  The Consulate General in Karachi has resumed processing of nonimmigrant visas.  If you have an urgent matter and need to travel immediately, please follow the guidance provided to request an emergency appointment.  Please click here for more information about visa services at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad and the Consulate General in Karachi.

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