The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic at the beginning of 2020 has affected global mobility, including mobility in Pakistan, through various travel disruptions and restrictions. To better understand how the pandemic affects global mobility, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has developed an online tool and database to register points of entry (POE), exit and transit - such as airports, land and blue border crossing points - where mobility restrictions, preparedness and response measures are in place.
To support these efforts, over a period of 14 months, the Displacement Tracking Matrix Regional Evidence for Migration Analysis and Policy (DTM REMAP) team in Pakistan mapped and gathered data on the locations, statuses and restrictions at POEs in the country.
In April 2021, the DTM REMAP team in Pakistan assessed 17 POEs. The most common type of POEs reported was airports (9), followed by land borders (6) and blue borders (2). The status of POEs between March and April 2021 changed due to increase of COVID-19 cases as well as the emergence of the new strains of COVID-19 in other countries. In April 2021, twelve POEs were fully operational, four were partially operational and one was fully closed.
On April 19, 2021, Pakistan officially banned travelers from India for two weeks due to new record of COVID-19 cases in India.
However, land border with India remained open for trade of essential goods. The land borders with Iran (Islamic Republic of) remained open for trade of essential goods and only limited crossing of travelers was allowed. During March and April 2021, the Chaman and Torkham border crossings with Afghanistan remained open for trade activities and international travelers. Repatriation of Afghans continued only at the Chaman border crossing.
Pakistan has created a list of categorized countries with different travel restrictions for inbound travel as a measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country. Passengers arriving from category-C countries are restricted from entering Pakistan and allowed only under NCOC (National Command and Operation Center) guidelines. The number of countries listed on category-C has increased from 12 countries in February 2021 to 23 countries in April 2021. In addition, all inbound travelers (except those who are exempt) must provide the required personal details through Pass Track Application 72 hours prior to departure to Pakistan.
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