Covid-19 vaccination certificate not required for Haj applications: NCOC

December 07, 2023

ISLAMABAD: Abolishing all travel restrictions regarding Covid-19, health authorities have asked the commercial banks not to insist for vaccination certificate in the Hajj applications.

“World Health Organization (WHO) has declared that Covid-19 is no more a public health emergency of international concern, lifted many international travel related restrictions while it also declared that

proof of vaccination for international travel is not a prerequisite anymore,” National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) at National Institute of Health (NIH) Islamabad said on Wednesday.

Pilgrims make a Tawaaf around the Holy Kaaba during Hajj at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. — AFP/File

Commercial banks receiving Hajj applications are demanding Covid-19 vaccination certificate

from the applicants, which is no more a prerequisite for the international travel, an official of the NCOC told The News and asked the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony to direct commercial banks not to insist for the Covid-19 vaccination certificates.

“Once balloting is done and people are selected, only then the question of Covid-19 vaccination would be raised and in this regard, any decision would be taken on the directives from Saudi authorities,” the official added.

Quoting ‘Guidelines for International Travel and Hajj Pilgrims’ issued by the NCOC on Wednesday morning, the NCOC official said the requirement for mandatory Covid-19 vaccine certificate at the time of arrival to point of entry in Pakistan has been abolished.

Similarly, all inbound passengers will not be required to present Covid-19 negative PCR report before boarding or on arrival, the NCOC official said adding that 2pc screening for Covid-19 of passengers travelling from UK, Gulf and other countries has also been abolished.

“But we are enhancing syndromic surveillance of all passengers arriving at point of entries and strengthening infection prevention and control practices to contain the transmission of pathogens at point of entries.

All policies shall be implemented with immediate effect until further orders”, the NCOC official added.