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Dubai: From Thursday, February 24, passengers travelling from the UAE to Pakistan will not have to do the mandatory pre-departure COVID-19 PCR test valid for 72 hours before the flight.

Pakistan’s National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), which oversees COVID-19 regulations, on Wednesday announced the decision to abolish the pre-boarding PCR test for all inbound travellers who are vaccinated. However, unvaccinated passengers are not exempted from the test.

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Fully vaccinated

“Pre-boarding negative PCR has been abolished for fully vaccinated inbound travellers. However, non-vaccinated individuals over 12 years will require pre-boarding negative PCR (taken within 72 hours before the departure),” the NCOC announced on Wednesday.

Pakistan had made it mandatory for all inbound passengers to be fully vaccinated from January 6, 2022. Passengers below 12 are exempted from mandatory vaccination while passengers between 12-18 years are allowed to travel without mandatory vaccination till March 31.

Rapid Antigen testing

Rapid Antigen Testing will be done on arrival for deportees and unvaccinated pedestrians at border terminals and positive cases will be home-quarantined for 10 days, the update from NCOC said.

The relaxation in the rule, which is a big relief for vaccinated passengers from the UAE, comes a day after the UAE also relaxed its travel regulations for passengers from Pakistan among other countries.

UAE eases restrictions

On Tuesday, the UAE dropped the requirement for rapid PCR test at departure airports in Pakistan, India and some other countries. However, passengers from these countries flying into the UAE still have to carry a negative report of COVID-19 PCR test taken not more than 48 hours before departure.