NCOC allows Pakistanis stranded in Category C countries to return by December 31

NCOC allows Pakistanis stranded in Category C countries to return by December 31

Islamabad (Web Desk): The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has allowed stranded Pakistanis in Category C countries to return without exemption before December 31.

According to a statement by the NCOC, all Pakistanis stranded in Category C countries, including valid National Identity Card of Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP) and Pakistan Origin Card (POC) holders, will be allowed to return to Pakistan without exemption till December 31.

The forum, which serves as the nerve centre of the government’s anti-COVID strategy, said that passengers travelling from Category C countries will be required to submit proof of vaccination and take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test 48 hours prior to boarding.

The statement added that they will be placed under mandatory quarantine upon arrival, if they are travelling from countries that have been hit by the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

Moreover, as vaccination of youngsters from 15 to 18 years of age has not started in some countries, the NCOC said that mandatory full vaccination for inbound passengers between 15 to 18 years of age has been extended till January 31, 2022 instead of December 1, 2021.

It is pertinent to mention that NCOC earlier banned inbound passengers from Category C countries, mostly European due to rising concerns about the new COVID variant Omicron.

Last week, the NCOC beefed up travel restrictions, adding eight more countries in Category C that banned in-bound passengers.

The number of countries on Category C list has been increased from seven to 15 including the Netherlands, Hungary, Ireland, Croatia, Ukraine, Slovenia, Vietnam, Poland, South Africa, Mozambique, Lesotho, Eswatini, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Namibia.