The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) announced on Tuesday that all air passengers, including those on incoming and outgoing international flights, would need to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 by Sep 30.
In its review of the measures put in place to contain the spread of the coronavirus, particularly in view of the spread of the Delta variant, planning minister Asad Umar, who also heads Pakistan's response to the coronavirus, said incoming international passengers as well as those flying domestically or abroad would not be allowed to avail the facility from Sep 30 unless fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
The forum had already announced on July 25 that unvaccinated people above 18 could not fly domestically. However, according to the the latest order, a complete two-dose vaccination has been made compulsory for air travelers by the end of September.
The NCOC also said vaccination was obligatory for those employed in various sectors, saying the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine should be taken by Aug 31 and the second jab by Sep 30.
The following decisions were taken by the NCOC in its meeting today:
- Only fully vaccinated people will be allowed to travel domestically and internationally from Sep 30. The same condition applies to incoming passengers
- Full vaccination by Oct 15 is compulsory to use public transport facilities
- Vaccination for for those aged between 17 and 18 to begin from Sep 1
- Immunocompromised people aged above 12 will get a "specific vaccine" at certain centres from Sep 1
- Visitors at shopping malls, hotels, restaurants and weddings should get first dose by Aug 31 and second jab by Sep 30 to enter premises
- Students aged 17 and above should get first dose by Sep 15 and second dose by Oct 15. In case of non-compliance, they can't enter educational institutions.
- People travelling on motorways should be vaccinated with first dose by Sep 15
- Similarly, travelers at highways must get first Covid-19 dose by Sep 30 and second dose by Oct 30 to prevent travel bar
- School van drivers should get first dose by Aug 31
The minister said the measures were taken to ensure public health protection and allow operation of businesses.
Dr Faisal Sultan, briefing on the occasion, said a booster shot could be considered for frontline health workers aged above 50 after six months of their second dose.
“If this decision is taken, it will be implemented from Oct 1.”
He added that the second category under consideration for a booster shot was fully vaccinated immunocompromised people and if permitted, they could get the booster jab six months after their complete vaccination.
He said youngsters aged between 17 and 18 could get themselves vaccinated from Sep 1. Similarly, age groups of 15-16 and 16-17 will also be able to get Covid-19 vaccines in days to come, "However, a date for that will be announced later."
He said people who need certain vaccines for travel purposes could get the jabs, provided they had visas of the country they were heading to, adding that such vaccines would be paid for by the recipients.