Covid-19: Pakistan drops PCR test rule for vaccinated travellers from UAE

Passengers from some other countries no longer need to produce a negative report as well



by

Waheed Abbas

Published: Wed 23 Feb 2022, 11:55 AM

Last updated: Wed 23 Feb 2022, 7:01 PM

Pakistan has announced that it would abolish the Covid-19 PCR test requirement for vaccinated travellers from the UAE and other countries from tomorrow, February 24.

However, those passengers who are not fully vaccinated will have to carry a negative PCR test prior to the departure to Pakistan, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), the body which oversees regulations related to Covid-19, said on Wednesday.

“Pre-boarding negative PCR has been abolished for fully vaccinated inbound travellers. However, non-vaccinated individuals over 12 years will require pre-boarding negative PCR taken not more than 72 hours before the departure,” the NCOC said on Wednesday.

Pakistan had made it mandatory for all inbound passengers to be fully vaccinated from January 6, 2022.

Governments around the world are easing Covid-19-related restrictions as new cases of the pandemic continue to decline and immunity improves with the increased vaccination. On Tuesday, the UAE also dropped rapid PCR test requirements taken six hours before the departure for passengers travelling from Pakistan. However, passengers travelling from Pakistan to UAE will have to carry a negative PCR taken not more than 48 hours before the flight.

The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) said passengers below 12 years of age are exempted from the mandatory Covid-19 vaccination. Moreover, travellers aged between 12 and 18 are allowed to travel to Pakistan without vaccination till March 31, 2022.

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The UAE residents welcomed the decision by the Pakistan government. Importantly, the UAE is also the world’s most vaccinated country as more than 95 per cent of people have already received two doses of the vaccines.

“It’s a big relief for all travellers. It seems life is coming back to normalcy after almost two years. I postponed my several short trips to Pakistan just to avoid the hassle of many PCR tests. As covid cases are declining in Pakistan, the NCOC has made a wise decision to exempt fully vaccinated passengers,” said Abul Hassan.

“Many of my colleagues could not reach on time on passing away of their loved ones due to the complications related to delayed results of PCR tests. Hopefully, the situation will improve further. Despite easing of Covid rules, we must exercise caution as the virus is not over yet,” he added.

-waheedabbas@khaleejtimes.com


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