Foreign travel advice

Pakistan

Important Coronavirus (COVID-19) travel

It is illegal to travel abroad from the UK for holidays. Follow current COVID-19 rules where you live: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

In England, you must have a permitted reason to travel abroad and complete the declaration form.

Some countries have closed borders, and any country may further restrict travel or bring in new social distancing rules with little warning. Check our advice for each country you will visit or transit through.

When you return, follow the rules to enter the UK from abroad (except from Ireland).

Summary

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advises 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 Mirkhani 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

COVID-19 entry restrictions for Pakistan

Before you travel, check the ‘Entry requirements’ section for Pakistan’s current entry restrictions and requirements. These may change with little warning. Monitor this advice for the latest updates and stay in contact with your travel provider.

Preparing for your return journey to the UK

Pakistan is on the red list. Check the requirements that apply for arrivals into England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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 guidance on foreign travel insurance.

For information about COVID-19 vaccines, see the Coronavirus page

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.

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.