Foreign travel advice

Pakistan

Important COVID-19 Travel

Under current UK COVID-19 restrictions, you must stay at home. It is illegal to travel abroad for holidays or leisure purposes. Check the rules in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Do not travel unless you have a legally permitted reason to do so. In England, from 8 March you must complete a declaration form for international travel (except for travel to Ireland).

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

To enter or return to the UK from abroad (except from Ireland), you must follow all the rules for entering the UK. These include providing your journey and contact details, and evidence of a negative COVID-19 test before you travel. When you arrive, you must quarantine and take additional COVID-19 tests. This will take place in a managed quarantine hotel if you enter England from a red list travel ban country, or enter Scotland.

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

Travel to Pakistan is subject to entry restrictions

  • On 21 December, the Pakistan government announced that, due to the COVID-19 situation, inbound travellers from the UK, or those who have been in the UK in the last 10 days, will not be able to enter Pakistan. The Pakistan government has announced that the restriction will be extended until 14 March 2021.

There are some exemptions to this restrictions:

  • From 9 January: All those who have a Pakistani passport, National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP) or Pakistani Origin Card (POC) are allowed to enter Pakistan. Check Pakistan government advice to confirm if you are eligible

See Entry requirements for more information before you plan to travel.

  • Travellers permitted entry to Pakistan from the UK and a number of other countries South are required to present evidence of a negative COVID-19 test taken up to 72 hours before the start of travel. Arrivals from some countries are exempted from this requirement. There are some additional arrangements on arrival – please see Pakistan government advice
  • Since 5 October 2020, international travellers to Pakistan have been required to present evidence of a negative COVID-19 test taken up to 96 hours before the start of travel
  • Travellers entering Pakistan must also provide traveller contact information through the PassTrack mobile app or an accessible web-based form
  • If travelling by air, you will be subject to screening for COVID-19 symptoms on arrival. Pakistan government guidelines state that if an international traveller is symptomatic on arrival, they will be required to take a COVID-19 test and self-isolate if the result is positive
  • Pakistan has closed its land borders with Afghanistan, India and Iran.

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:

If your return journey to the UK transits another country, you should check whether it is subject to a travel ban or any other additional requirements. If so, contact your travel provider.

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.