In an attempt to facilitate stranded Pakistanis, the National Command and Operation Center on Tuesday allowed citizens, holding valid NICOP/POCs, from category C countries to travel to Pakistan without exemption till December 31.
NCOC however stated that a vaccination certificate, PCR test pre-boarding (max 48 hours old) and mandatory quarantine (if traveling from Omicron countries) will remain applicable.
It further stated that as vaccination of 15 to 18 years of age has not started in few countries therefore mandatory full vaccination for inbound passengers between 15 to 18 years of age has been extended till January 31, 2022, instead of December 1, 2021.
The relaxation comes a day after the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Pakistan confirmed that a recently suspected sample from Karachi was indeed the ‘Omicron variant’ of SARS-CoV2.
“The NIH has been able to confirm (via whole genome sequencing) that a recently suspected sample from Karachi is indeed the ‘Omicron variant’ of SARS-CoV2,” said NIH Pakistan in a tweet.
Over fear of the emergence of the Omicron variant, NCOC earlier this month restricted traveling from 14 countries.
This decision was taken by the NCOC in a meeting chaired by the organisation’s chief and Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar.
“Urgent travel from these countries to Pakistan will only be possible after getting a no-objection certificate from the special committee,” said the NCOC adding that all the passengers coming to Pakistan must be vaccinated.
The NCOC said all Pakistanis and foreigners above six-year-old will need to show the result of the PCR test conducted within 48 hours before boarding the flight.