The United Kingdom (UK) government has moved Pakistan from the ‘amber list’ to the newly-created ‘Rest of the World’ (ROW) list.
The ROW list requires travelers coming from countries on the list to undergo certain mandatory COVID-19 safety measures irrespective of being vaccinated or unvaccinated against Coronavirus.
What is the ROW List?
Until now, the UK had maintained a “traffic light” system for international travel under which green, amber, and red colors were assigned to low, medium, and high-risk countries based on their respective COVID-19 situations.
However, the traffic light system was scrapped on 4 October, and a relatively simple mechanism to manage international travel based on the red list and ROW list was introduced.
For the unaware, the ROW list is basically a merged form of the green and amber lists which included low and medium-risk countries respectively.
What are the Rules of the ROW List?
Unless they have been fully vaccinated by COVID-19 vaccines approved by the UK in countries whose COVID-19 vaccination certificates are recognized by the UK, travelers coming from ROW list countries must:
- Take a PCR test within 72 hours before departing to the UK.
- Self-isolate for 10 days on arrival to the UK. They can end the isolation on day 5 if they test negative.
- Book and pay for PCR tests on days 2 and 8 after arriving in the UK.
- Complete a passenger locator form before landing in the UK.
Would the UK Ever Recognize Pakistani COVID-19 Vaccination Certificates?
According to the British High Commission in Pakistan, had previously said,
I am just going through the process of formally allowing the two bureaucracies to recognize each other’s vaccination certificates and that may take a couple more days next week.
But basically, in October, you’d be able to turn up in London and, if you’ve had those vaccines, show your Nadra certificate and be absolutely fine. It doesn’t matter where it’s administered — you have very good certificates here — you show that and you’d be fine… It’ll be a big shift and everything will be a lot better.
Once that is done, Pakistani travelers going to the UK would no longer be subject to most of ROW list rules, provided they are vaccinated with Coronavirus vaccines approved by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the UK’s apex healthcare regulator, which are Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson (J&J).
Notwithstanding the recognition of NADRA-issued COVID-19 vaccination certificates, Pakistan travelers would still have to take a PCR test on day 2 of arrival in the UK and complete a passenger locator form prior to landing in the UK.
Note that rules for Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales are slightly different and travelers are recommended to read them as well.