COVID-19 Exceptional Travel Advisory Notice
As countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the FCO advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. Any country or area may restrict travel without notice. If you live in the UK and are currently travelling abroad, you are strongly advised to return now, where and while there are still commercial routes available. Many airlines are suspending flights and many airports are closing, preventing flights from leaving.
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The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is advising British nationals against all non-essential international travel at this time. Existing advice for Pakistan remains in place:
The FCO 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 FCO advise 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
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 on 14 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 FCO 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. 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.
Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.