Important COVID-19 travel guidance
From 5 November to 2 December 2020, travelling away from home, including internationally, is restricted from England except in limited circumstances such as for work or for education. Different rules apply in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. You must follow all the rules that apply to you.
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) provides guidance on COVID and non-COVID risks overseas. The FCDO currently advises against all but essential travel to many countries and territories on the basis of COVID risks. You should check the travel advice for your destination.
Travel disruption is possible worldwide. Other countries may bring in new measures with little notice such as border closures, movement restrictions or quarantine rules. Travellers should be prepared to stay overseas longer than planned.
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office’s (FCDO) advise against all travel to:
- the areas in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province formerly known as the Federally Administered Tribal Areas
- the districts of Charsadda, Kohat, Tank, Bannu, Lakki, Dera Ismail Khan, Swat, Buner and Lower Dir in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
- the city of Peshawar and districts south of the city, including travel on the Peshawar to Chitral road via the Lowari Pass
- Balochistan province including the city of Quetta but excluding the southern coast of Balochistan (see below)
- the section of the Karakoram Highway (also known as Kara Karam Highway or KKH) from Mansehra to Chilas, via Battagram, Besham City, Dasu and Sazin
- the immediate vicinity of the Line of Control
The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to:
- Arandu town and the road between Mirkhana and Arandu in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province
- the southern coast of Balochistan, defined as the area south of (and including) the N10 motorway as well as the section of the N25 which runs from N10/N25 intersection to the Balochistan/Sindh border, including the port city of Gwadar
- areas of Sindh Province north of, and including, the city of Nawabshah
- the remainder of Pakistan based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks
Travel to Pakistan is subject to entry restrictions
- Pakistan has closed its land borders with Afghanistan, India and Iran.
- From 5 October 2020, international travellers to Pakistan will be required to present evidence of a negative COVID-19 test taken up to 96 hours before the start of travel. Arrivals from some countries are exempted from this requirement, but those arriving from the UK are not exempt.
- If travelling by air, you will be subject to screening for Covid-19 symptoms on arrival. Pakistan Government guidelines suggest that international travellers self-isolate for 10 days after arrival.
See Entry requirements for more information before you plan to travel.
Preparing for your return journey to the UK
If you’re returning to the UK from overseas, you will need to:
Check our advice on foreign travel during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and sign up for email alerts for this travel advice.
If you’re planning travel to Pakistan , find out what you need to know about coronavirus there in the Coronavirus section.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check it provides sufficient cover. See the FCDO’s guidance on foreign travel insurance.
There are now commercial options available to return to the UK from Pakistan. There are currently no further UK-arranged special charter flights planned from Pakistan.
In recent years, the security situation in Pakistan has improved considerably following action by the Pakistan government and security forces. In 2018, there were an estimated 484,000 visits by British nationals to Pakistan. Most visits are trouble-free.
Following a terrorist attack in Pulwama in February 2019, there are heightened tensions between India and Pakistan, particularly across the Line of Control. Certain flight routes or airports continue to experience restrictions. You should check with your airline for the latest information on the status of your flight before travelling to the airport for any flight to and from Pakistan.
Protests can take place throughout Pakistan with little warning and turn violent quickly. You should avoid demonstrations, large crowds of people and public events. See Safety and security
Some periods of the year may pose heightened risks. During holy periods/religious holidays, there is an increased potential for targeted attacks, including on western interests and religious minorities.
Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Pakistan. There’s a high threat of terrorism, kidnap and sectarian violence throughout the country, including the major cities of Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore and Karachi. Foreigners, in particular westerners, may be directly targeted. You should be vigilant, try to avoid all crowds and public events including political gatherings and religious events throughout Pakistan, and take appropriate security precautions.
Densely populated and unsecured areas, such as markets, shopping malls, hotels, restaurants, airports, public transport, schools and educational institutions are potential focal points for attacks. You should be extra vigilant at all times in such areas and minimise your exposure to areas that pose a higher risk. See Terrorism
Pakistan is in a major earthquake zone and remains at risk from further earthquakes, aftershocks, landslides and flooding. You should familiarise yourself with safety procedures in the event of an earthquake. See Natural disasters
Consular support is severely limited in parts of Pakistan where the FCDO has existing advice against all travel and all but essential travel (as set out above). Consular support is also limited in parts of Pakistan where High Commission officials require travel permission from the Government of Pakistan. Permission is not guaranteed. The British High Commission’s ability to deliver consular assistance, including in an emergency, may be restricted or delayed in these areas.
Please note that due to COVID-19, in-person services are temporarily unavailable at the British Deputy High Commission in Karachi, but please contact us by phone or the online contact form if you need consular assistance.
If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.
The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.