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Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Islamabad, Pakistan (January 21, 2021)
January 21, 2021

Location: Pakistan (country wide)

Event: Pakistan Health Alert – COVID-19 Testing Requirement for Air Travel

As of November 17, 2020, Pakistan is under a Level 3 Travel Advisory (Reconsider Travel) due to COVID-19, terrorism, and sectarian violence. On December 2, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for Pakistan due to COVID-19. Please visit our website for updates on the COVID-19 situation in Pakistan along with information on the status of operations at U.S. facilities.

COVID-19 Testing Requirement for Air Travel: Effective January 26, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will require all air passengers, 2 years of age or older, entering the United States (including U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents) to present a negative viral COVID-19 test (RT-PCR, NAAT, or antigen test), taken within three calendar days of departure, or documentation of your positive viral test results and a letter from your healthcare provider or a public health official that states you have been cleared for travel. The positive test result and letter together are referred to as “documentation of recovery.” Airlines must confirm the negative test result or documentation of recovery for all passengers prior to boarding and must deny boarding of passengers who do not provide documentation of a negative test or recovery. Please see CDC’s FAQ and the Embassy’s COVID-19 webpage for more information about the new requirement.

If you are planning to return to the United States, you should contact your airline for specific information about testing requirements for travelers. Because airlines may adopt and modify their own specific policies to implement CDC’s new rule not just for travel but with the United States as the final destination, you should contact the carrier for your U.S.-bound flight and not rely on information from other carriers or information or experience from previous trips. As mentioned above, the airlines must deny boarding to passengers who choose not to present a test result or documentation of recovery.

Testing resources: U.S. citizens departing Pakistan can obtain COVID-19 viral tests from any government or private hospital or lab of their choice. For a list of hospitals and labs providing COVID-19 viral 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. You should request that the lab provide you with compliant documentation of your test results. Some airlines may only accept results from certain facilities. Please contact your airline for a list of these sites.

The average price of the COVID-19 viral test is between 6000 and 9000 PKR. The individual is responsible for the cost of the test.

Please ensure you have the results with you when you board the plane and when you deplane in the United States.

The Embassy and Consulates are not able to administer or pay for COVID-19 tests. Potential travelers should carefully consider that availability of tests and timeliness of results cannot be guaranteed.

Reduced Consular Services: The ability of U.S. embassies and consulates to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens continues to be limited. As U.S. embassies and consulates reopen their services to the public in a phased and safe manner during the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad and U.S. Consulates General in Karachi and Lahore resumed limited in-person passport appointments and notarial services on September 8, 2020. Appointments will be scheduled based on prioritized service needs, including:

  • Children who have yet to be documented for the first time as U.S. citizens.
  • U.S. citizens who are traveling outside of Pakistan within six weeks and must renew their passports before travel.
  • U.S. citizens who do not have travel plans, but for documentation purposes need to renew their expired passports or who have passports that will expire within six weeks.
  • Parents of U.S. citizen minors who are providing written and notarized authorization to renew or apply for their child’s passport (DS-3053 Statement of Consent: Issuance of a U.S. passport to a Minor under Age 16).
  • Emergency notarial services.

Please click here for more information on services for U.S. citizens.


U.S. Embassy Islamabad, Pakistan
+(92)(51) 201-4000

U.S. Consulate General, Karachi
+(92)(21) 3527 5000

U.S. Consulate General, Lahore
+(92) (42) 3603 4000

U.S. Consulate General, Peshawar
+(92) (91) 526 8800


State Department – Consular Affairs
888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444

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