The outbreak of COVID-19 has affected global mobility through various travel disruptions and restrictions. To better understand how the pandemic affects global mobility, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has developed an online tool and database to register points of entry (POE), exit and transit, where mobility restrictions and response measures are in place. To support these efforts, the Displacement Tracking Matrix Regional Evidence for Migration Analysis and Policy (DTM REMAP) team in Pakistan mapped and gathered data on the current statuses of POEs in the country.
Between September and October 2021, the DTM REMAP team in Pakistan monitored 17 POEs. These included nine airports, six land borders and two blue borders. The status of various POEs changed significantly between September and October 2021 due to a decrease in COVID-19 cases, changes to the security situation and fluctuations in national and international mobility restrictions. At the end of September, twelve POEs were fully operational, four were partially operational and one was fully closed.
At the end of October, twelve POEs were fully operational, three were partially operational and two were fully closed. On 2nd September, the Chaman bording crossing was temporarily closed due to security concerns. Because of similar security concerns, on 13th September the Torkham border was closed for pedestrians. However, it was opened a day later exclusively for Afghan nationals entering Afghanistan. On 29th September, the Taftan border crossing with the Islamic Republic of Iran was closed from both sides causing major disruptions and suspension of trade. In early October, the Chaman border crossing was closed again by the authorities due to security concerns. This caused major disruptions for traders and travelers on both sides of the border. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) issued a new advisory that made COVID-19 vaccination certificates mandatory for air travel starting from 1st October for passengers aged 18 years old and above. As per the latest directives, international and domestic travel would not be allowed without COVID-19 vaccinations after 30th September. CAA also updated the number of Category-C countries (International travel to Pakistan from the ‘Category-C’ countries is banned) from 23 to 12 for inbound travel to Pakistan.