Central and West Asia

Sum of Measures 1—5 (Total Package)

Total Package in USD Million: 21,006.81
% of GDP (2019): 8.35%
% of Regional Total Package: 39.93%
Package Per Capita in USD: 97.00
Note: Measures 9 and 10 are added to the sum of Measures 1-5.
Measure Amount (Local) Amount (USD) Details Update Source
01 - Liquidity Support info_outline PKR100,000,000,000 USD602,653,968
01A - Short-term lending info_outline PKR100,000,000,000 USD602,653,968

19 August 2020, There is an increase in the limit of refinancing provided to banks under the Exports Finance Scheme by PKR100 billion.

01B - Support policies for short-term lending info_outline
01C - Forex operations info_outline
02 - Credit creation info_outline PKR919,332,290,000 USD5,540,392,521
02A - Financial sector lending/funding info_outline PKR889,273,790,000 USD5,359,243,778

The State Bank of Pakistan's (SBP's) refinancing facilities: (i) 17 March 2020, Refinance Facility for Combating COVID-19 (RFCC) to support hospitals and medical centers to purchase equipment to detect, contain, and treat COVID-19 (3% end-user rate for 5 years). On 6 July 2020, the SBP enhanced the scope of the refinancing facility to support health facilities, now allowing manufacturers of protective gears and equipment, including items such as masks, dresses, testing kits, hospital beds, ventilators etc. to avail financing under RFCC. Moreover, to cope with the rising needs of the health facilities in general in the country, SBP has allowed even hospitals serving non-COVID-19 patients to avail this facility. Peak approved financing amounted to PKR17,789.79 million (1 July 2021), and program has ended; (ii) Temporary Economic Refinancing Facility (TERF) to stimulate investment in new manufacturing plants and machinery (7% for 10 years with a total size of PKR100 billion). On 8 May 2020, the SBP allowed financing for Balancing, Modernization and Replacement (BMR) and expansion under its Temporary Economic Relief Facility (TERF) to provide further stimulus to the economy in the context of COVID-19's impact on the economy, to support investment in the country for modernizing or expanding manufacturing/production units. Peak approved financing amounted to PKR543.248 billion (4 March 2021). The program ended, and thus no more updates after 1 April 2021; (iii) Refinance scheme (SBP Rozgar scheme) to support employment and prevent layoff of workers (to finance 3 months of wages; loan repayment will start from January 2021 and can be made in equal 24-month or 8-quarter installments). Under the Refinance scheme to support employment and prevent layoff of workers, SBP enhanced its refinance limits to finance up to 100% of wages and salaries of businesses with average 3-month wage bill of up to PKR500 million. On 30 June 2020, the SBP decided to extend the Rozgar scheme for another three months and, in collaboration with the Government of Pakistan, increased the risk coverage for SMEs under the scheme. As of 13 November 2020, approved financing amounted to PKR238.236 billion; (iv) 19 August 2020, To promote export-oriented investment, PKR90 billion has been allocated under the Long Term Financing Facility (LTFF).

02B - Support policies for long-term lending info_outline PKR58,500,000 USD352,553
02B1 - Interest rate adjustments

(i) No amount/estimate: The SBP has responded to the crisis by cutting the policy rate: from 13.25% to 12.5% on March 17, 11% on March 24, 9% on April 16, 8.0% on May 15, and 7% on June 25; (ii) 8 July 2020, SBP has reduced the end user markup rates on Temporary Economic Refinance Facility to 5% from the existing 7% and on Long Term Financing Facility (LTFF) for non-textile sector to 5% from 6%; (iii) 20 September 2021, Pakistan’s central bank raised its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to 7.25%. The bank signalled that it could raise rates further in coming months as the need to support the country’s economy due to the COVID-19 crisis has eased, but this would depend on emerging economic data [update].

02B2 - Other policies to support long-term lending PKR58,500,000 USD352,553

(i) SBP introduced temporary regulatory measures to maintain banking system soundness and sustain economic activity, as follows: (a) reducing the capital conservation buffer by 100 basis points to 1.5%, (b) increase the regulatory limit on extension of credit to SMEs by 44% to PKR180 million ((PKR180 million/1.44) = PKR125 million; PKR180 million - PKR125 million = PKR55 million), (c) relaxation of the debt burden ratio for consumer loans from 50% to 60%, (d) relaxation of regulatory criteria for restructured/rescheduled loans for borrowers who require relief beyond the extension of principal repayment for one year, and (e) May 2020, Suspension of bank dividends for the first two quarters of 2020 to shore up capital; (ii) 18 August 2020, the SBP also enhanced the concessional financing limit under its Refinance and Credit Guarantee Scheme for Women Entrepreneurs from PKR1.5 million to PKR5 million.

02C - Loan guarantees PKR30,000,000,000 USD180,796,190

6 May 2020, Under the SBPs Refinance Scheme to Support Employment and Prevent Layoff of Workers, the Ministry of Finance has stepped forward to shoulder risk sharing with banks. The Federal Government has allocated PKR30 billion under a credit risk sharing facility for the banks spread over four years to share the burden of losses due to any bad loans in future. Under this risk sharing arrangement, the Federal Government will bear 40% first loss on principal portion of disbursed loan portfolio of the banks.

03 - Direct long-term lending info_outline PKR911,510,000,000 USD5,493,251,180
03A - Long-term lending info_outline
03B - Forbearance PKR911,510,000,000 USD5,493,251,180

(i) 20 April 2020, Borrowers from corporate, consumer, agriculture, SMEs, and microfinance sectors can avail deferment of principal amount for one year while continue servicing mark up. 7 July 2020, the State Bank of Pakistan extends the availability of deferment of principal amount of loans facility until September 2020. This applies to Small & Medium Enterprise Financing, Consumer Financing, Housing Finance, Agriculture Finance and Micro financing only. The facility is not being extended to corporates and commercial borrowers since a significant amount of their loans and advances has already been deferred. 10 August 2020, the SBP relief package for microfinance banks, which included deferment of principal and restructuring of microfinance loans to deal with the adverse implications of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, have been expanded with additional measures. First, the relief measures that were earlier available from 15 February 2020 have now been allowed to borrowers who were regular on 31 December 2019. Second, to facilitate microfinance banks (MFBs) during these testing times, the provisioning requirements have been extended by 2 months; and third, client’s consent through recorded lines has been allowed to facilitate the customers to avail the relief package. The peak amount approved for restructuring/rescheduling was PKR253.619 billion (2 April 2021). The peak amount approved for deferment up to one year was PKR657.891 billion (20 November 2020). The program ended in 16 April 2021; (ii) No amount/estimate: SBP extends time for settlement of foreign currency loans amid COVID-19 pandemic. Banks can now allow extension up to 180 days to exporters in settlement of their FE-25 loans in case they are facing delay in realization of export proceeds due to COVID-19.

04 - Equity support info_outline
05 - Health and income support PKR1,554,375,835,000 USD9,367,507,640
05A - Health support PKR194,785,301,000 USD1,173,881,345

(i) 10 June 2020, The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) approved an amount of PKR480.566 million to cover the risk allowance of health care workers performing duties related to COVID-19. This is already part of the fiscal stimulus package dated 24 March 2020; (ii) 2 December 2020, USD150 million was approved to buy COVID-19 vaccines, initially to cover the most vulnerable 5% of the population. 31 December 2020, Pakistan will purchase 1.2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses from China’s Sinopharm. 28 January 2021, The government announced that it would begin its COVID-19 vaccination drive in February. 30 January 2021, Pakistan secured 17 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine through COVAX,a sharing scheme coordinated by the World Health Organization to suppport low-income countries. 18 January 2021, The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan approved for emergency use the COVID-19 vaccines of Oxford University-AstraZeneca and Sinopharm. 24 January 2021, Sputnik V is the third vaccine to be approved for the emergency use in the country. 12 February 2021, Pakistan approved China’s CanSino Biologics Inc.’s (CanSinoBIO) COVID-19 vaccine for emergency used, the fourth candidate authorized in the country. 18 February 2021, The government issued guidelines for private companies to set up centers to administer COVID-19 vaccines. 3 May 2021, The National Health Services reported that 150,000 vaccines are administered on daily basis. The goverment's target is to vaccinate 70 million by end of 2021. 12 May 2021, The government approves Zofin for compassionate use in COVID-19 patients. 17 May 2021, The country has administered more than 3.8 million vaccine doses since the shots began rolling out in February 2021. Nearly 1 million people have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The government opened vaccine registration for those 30 and above from 16 May2021. 15 June 2021, Pakistan has lifted a rule barring the use of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine for people below the age of 40. As of 11 June 2021, 1.3% of Pakistan's 220 million people had been fully vaccinated and 3.8% had received at least one dose. 22 July 2021, 24.1 million total vaccine jabs have been administered across the country out of which 6.9 million are fully vaccinated. 20 September 2021, At least 24 million have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 [update]. ; (iii) 16 December 2020, PKR53.10 million for procurement of medical equipment, machinery, and medicines to combat COVID-19; (iv) No amount/estimate: 24 December 2020, The ECC approved the duty and tax free import of cryogenic oxygen tanks for better handling of COVID-19 situation; (v) 26 May 2021, The COVID-19 Response and Other Natural Calamities Control Program (Sindh Component) was approved at the total cost of PKR20,822.046 million. The Department of Health, Government of Sindh will be responsible for sponsoring and executing the Program. It is expected to be completed by the end of 2023; (vi) 31 May 2021, The ECC meeting was held to provide technical supplementary grant of approximately PKR20 billion to the National Disaster Management Fund to ensure timely procurement of Corona Vaccine for the effective national response to COVID-19 Pandemic. The funds will be utilized for the procurement of 10 million doses of the COVID vaccine during the month of June 2021; (vii) 2 June 2021: Three technical supplementary grants of PKR1.762 billion, PKR3.25 billion and PKR7.87 billion were approved for the Finance Division for providing funds to Khyber Pakhtunkwa (KP) and Punjab Governments for strengthening hospitals and for effective response to COVID-19 and other natural calamities; (viii) 9 June 2021, The ECC expressed the government’s commitment to provide USD1.1 billion for procurement of COVID-19 Vaccine for achieving the vaccination target (minimum 45 million and maximum 65 million) until December 2021. The ECC in its meeting on 31 May 2021 had already approved USD130 million (equivalent to PKR20 billion) for procuring the vaccine for the month of June 2021. However, due to the increased target of vaccination by NCOC, another USD50 million was required in addition to the already approved amount for the month of June 2021. ECC also approved the additional funds of USD70 million for achieving the vaccination target for the month of June 2021; (ix) No amount/estimate: 22 June 2021, Pakistan has finalized a vaccine agreement to procure 13 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer; (x) 25 August 2021, The ECC approved a technical supplementary grant amounting to approximately PKR24,555 million to the National Disaster Management Authority for procurement of vaccine for COVID-19 including transportation and handling charges in order to meet the target of 85 million population to be vaccinated by the end of year 2021; (xi) 31 August 2021, The ECC also accorded approval for a Technical Supplementary Grant amounting to PKR50,100 million for extending rupee cover against financing by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) of USD300 million for procurement of COVID-19 vaccine and ancillary goods and services [update].

05B - Income support PKR1,165,197,308,000 USD7,022,107,806
05B1 - Tax and contribution deferrals and policy changes
05B2 - Tax and contribution rates reduction PKR100,000,000,000 USD602,653,968

24 March 2020, The relief package includes PKR100 billion accelerated tax refunds to the export industry.

05B3 - Subsidies to individuals and households PKR888,000,000,000 USD5,351,567,232

(i) 24 March 2020, a relief package including: (a) PKR200 billion relief to daily wage workers, including PKR75 billion of approved cash disbursements to 6.2 million workers; (b) PKR150 billion in cash transfers to 12 million low-income families; (c) PKR70 billion, relief in fuel prices; (d) PKR110 billion, electricity bill payments relief; (e) PKR280 billion, resources for an accelerated procurement of wheat; (ii) June 2020, PKR50 billion agriculture package for farmers and crop growers, likely consisting of reduction of electricity tariff for tube-wells, reduction of import duty on fertilizers, reduction of mark-up and waiver of agricultural loans, and deregulation of the import and export of agricultural products and livestock. This is already part of the fiscal stimulus package dated 24 March 2020; (iii) 18 June 2020, The FY 2021 budget includes a housing package to subsidize mortgages (PKR30 billion); (iv) No amount/estimate: 28 January 2021, The Economic Coordination Committee considered and approved the first proposal regarding continuation of general subsidy on five essential items through Utility Stores Corporation from 1 January 2021 to 30 June 2021 out of funds allocated under Prime Minister’s Relief Package-2020 in the backdrop of COVID-19 pandemic; (v) 26 May 2021, Four million beneficiaries would be given one-time emergency cash assistance of PKR12,000 each to compensate for unemployment caused by COVID-19. The financial impact of providing assistance to these 4 million additional beneficiaries would be PKR48 billion.

05B4 - Subsidies to businesses PKR50,000,000,000 USD301,326,984

24 March 2020, The relief package includes PKR50 billion financial support to utility stores.

05B5 - Indirect income support PKR27,197,308,000 USD163,905,656

(i) 24 March 2020, The relief package includes PKR25 billion of transfers to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) for the purchase of necessary equipment to deal with the pandemic; (ii) 3 February 2021, The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) approved PKR141.308 million technical supplementary grants to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for an expenditure incurred on media campaigns to create awareness among the public during the COVID-19 pandemic; (iii) 10 March 2021, The ECC approved PKR1,056 million for the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training for completion of Projects related to COVID-19; (iv) 26 March 2021, The ECC approved a technical supplementary grant regarding allocation of funds amounting to PKR1 billion for launching advertisement campaigns by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to inform and educate people particularly during the third wave of COVID-19.

05B6 - No breakdown (income support) PKR100,000,000,000 USD602,653,968

24 March 2020, The relief package includes PKR100 billion financial support to SMEs, in the form of relief on electricity bill payments, bank lending support, and subsidies and tax incentives.

05C - No breakdown (health and income support) PKR194,393,226,000 USD1,171,518,489

(i) 24 March 2020, a relief package including: (a) PKR100 billion, emergency contingency fund; (b) PKR15 billion total support for health and food supplies; (ii) 18 June 2020, The FY 2021 budget includes further tariff and custom duty reductions on food items and a PKR70 billion allocation for ‘COVID-19 Responsive and Other Natural Calamities Control Program’, as well as the provision of tax incentives to the construction sector to address the acute employment needs generated by the lockdowns; (iii) 23 June 2021, The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet approved technical supplementary grant for COVID-19 Response and Other Natural Calamities Control Programme (Sindh Component) worth PKR9,393.226 million.

06 - Budget reallocation info_outline
07 - Central bank financing government
07A - Direct lending and reserve drawdown
07B - Secondary purchase: government securities
08 - International Assistance Received PKR1,137,772,315,341 USD6,856,830,000
08A - Swaps info_outline
08B - International loans/grants PKR1,137,772,315,341 USD6,856,830,000
08B1 - Asian Development Bank PKR436,208,859,741 USD2,628,830,000

(i) 23 March 2020, USD0.01 million - Preparing Health Sector Assessment; (ii) 30 March 2020, USD2 million - Special Assistance from the Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund; (iii) 7 April 2020, USD30 million - National Disaster Risk Management Fund (loan; repurposing of ongoing projects); (iv) April-May 2020, USD669.59 million - Trade Finance Program (Additional Financing), Guarantee (with USD351.05 million cofinancing). January 2021 Commitment date, January 2021 Commitment date, USD618.47 million (with USD984.27 million cofinancing) (as of 24 September 2021) [update]; (v) April 2020, TA 9950-REG: Regional Support to Address the Outbreak of COVID-19 and Potential Outbreaks of Other Communicable Diseases, Pakistan - USD3.18 million (estimated support) and USD3.23 million (contracts signed/commitments as of 24 September 2021); (vi) 19 May 2020, USD300 million Emergency Assistance for Fighting Against COVID-19 Pandemic; (vii) 29 May 2020, USD1 million - Capacity Building of Disaster Management Institutions; (viii) 3 June 2020, USD0.07 million - Developing A Disaster Risk Transfer Facility in the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Region (additional financing); (ix) 10 June 2020, USD500 million - COVID-19 Active Response and Expenditure Support Program; (x) 7 July 2020, USD0.30 million - Preparing the Trade Competitiveness Program (Additional Financing); (xi) 7 July 2020, USD0.30 million - Capacity Building of Disaster Management Institutions (Additional Financing); (xii) 13 July 2020, USD0.38 million - Addressing Health Threats in the Central, West and East Asia Region; (xiii) 24 July 2020, USD0.21 million - Due Diligence and Capacity Development of Trade Finance Program Banks (Subproject 3); (xiv) 9 September 2020, Strengthening the Enabling Environment for Disaster Risk Financing (Phase 2) (0.13 million); (xv) 6 October 2020, USD0.26 million - Capacity Development for the Supply Chain Finance Program (Phase 2) (Subproject 3); (xvi) 5 November 2020, USD0.21 million - Creating Investable Cities in Post-COVID-19 Asia-Pacific: Enhancing Competitiveness and Resilience through Quality Infrastructure; (xvii) 18 November 2020, USD0.05 million - Supporting Startup Ecosystem in the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Region to Mitigate Impact of COVID-19 and Support Economic Revival; (xviii) 26 November 2020, USD0.04million - Addressing Health Threats in the Central, West, and East Asia Region (Additional Financing); (xix) 2 December 2020, USD0.02 million - Promoting Transformative Gender Equality Agenda in Asia and the Pacific (Supplementary); (xx) 9 December 2020, USD0.50 million (with an additional USD0.10 million co-financed) - Strengthening Food Security Post-COVID-19 and Locust Attacks; (xxi) Supply Chain Finance Program, January 2021 commitment, April 2020 approval (USD1.69 million, as of 24 September 2021) [update]; (xxii) 23 June 2021, USD0.15 million Advancing the Transformative Gender Equality Agenda in a Post-COVID-19 Asia and the Pacific; (xxiii) 6 August 2021, USD500 million COVID-19 Vaccine Support Project under the Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility; (xxiv) 7 September 2021, Due Diligence and Capacity Development of Trade Finance Program Banks (Subproject 4) USD0.16 million [update]; (xxv) 22 September 2021, Fostering Regional Cooperation and Integration through Knowledge and Capacity Building of Trade and Supply Chain Finance Program Banks, USD0.06 million [update].

08B2 - Other PKR701,563,455,600 USD4,228,000,000

(i) 2 April 2020, World Bank Pandemic Response Effectiveness Project (PREP): (a) USD200 million concessional credit provided through the COVID-19 Fast-Track Facility, and (b) USD38 million, repurposed from existing projects. 13 May 2021, The World Bank approved the restructuring of the PREP project to redeploy USD153 million to support the national vaccine drive in Pakistan; (ii) 16 April 2020, IMF Executive Board approves USD1.386 billion disbursement to Pakistan to address the COVID-19 pandemic under the Rapid Financing Instrument; (iii) 21 May 2020, USD500 million World Bank's Securing Human Investments to Foster Transformation will support policy reforms to help Pakistan’s COVID-19 emergency response and protect human capital investments (30-year loan with a 5-year grace period); (iv) As of 29 May 2020, nearly USD18 million in total assistance, which includes USD5 million contribution by USAID to the agreement between the Department of International Development of the United Kingdom with the Government of Pakistan to support its emergency cash-assistance program, USD10 million in health assistance, and USD2.9 million from the Migration and Refugee Assistance account to help vulnerable people; (v) 16 June 2020, USD500 million COVID-19 Active Response and Expenditure Support (CARES) Program, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB); (vi) 23 June 2020, USD236 million Most Vulnerable Households in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to Benefit from Improved Learning, Healthcare and COVID-19 Response, World Bank; (vii) 29 June 2020, USD500 million from the World Bank's Resilient Institutions for Sustainable Economy, which aims to bolster fiscal resilience and COVID-19 recovery (loan); (viii) 16 July 2020, USD250 million Resilient Institutions for Sustainable Economy (RISE) program of AIIB, which constitutes one element of Pakistan’s response to and recovery from the impact of COVID 19 pandemic; (ix) 31 July 2020, USD200 million from the World Bank for the Actions to Strengthen Performance for Inclusive and Responsive Education Program (ASPIRE), which will address school disruptions due to COVID-19 by accelerating virtual and distance learning opportunities for students; (x) No amount/estimate: As of 26 April 2021, Pakistan has already received three batches of COVID-19 vaccines donated by the Government of the People's Republic of China; (xi) No amount estimate, 23 June 2021, Qatar pledged one million COVID-19 vaccine doses to Pakistan; (xii) No amount/estimate: 24 June 2021, PRC donated oxygen generators, cylinders, and masks to Pakistan to help fight COVID-19; (xiii) 28 June 2021, The World Bank approved financing of USD400 million for the Second Securing Human Investments to Foster Transformation program, which will better support families to recover from the COVID-19 crisis, and pave the way for more robust crisis preparedness in the future; (xiv) No amount/estimate: 17 July 2021, 1,236,000 million doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines reached Pakistan through the COVAX Facility, bringing the total number of doses delivered by the global COVID-19 vaccine equity scheme to five million so far; (xv) No amount/estimate: 16 July 2021, A second consignment of 3 million doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccines donated by the the United States to the COVAX Facility have arrived in Pakistan, bringing the total doses donated by the US Government to Pakistan through COVAX to 5.5 million; (xvi) No amount/estimate: 9 August 2021, Pakistan received 1 million Covid antigen rapid test kits from the US.

09 - International Assistance Provided PKR497,798,100 USD3,000,000
09A - Swaps info_outline
09B - International loans/grants PKR497,798,100 USD3,000,000

(i) No amount/estimate: 17 June 2021, Pakistan donated COVID-19 PPEs and medical equipment to Afghanistan; (ii) 8 July 2021, Pakistan has provided lifesaving medical equipment to help Bangladesh in its fight against COVID-19. The equipment includes 10 ventilators, 20 C-PAP breathing aid machines, 10 beds, an elevator for the hospital building, and a vehicle for use by the ward's staff. In the context of regional cooperation, Pakistan had contributed USD3 million to the SAARC COVID-19 Emergency Fund; (iii) No amount/estimate: 21 August 2021, Pakistan donated medical equipment (i.e., 75 Pakistan-made ventilators and 150 C-PAP breathing aid machines) to Sri Lanka to assist COVID-19 response.

10 - No breakdown
11 - Other Economic Measures

(i) April 2020, Provincial governments have also announced fiscal measures, broadly consisting of cash grants to the low-income households, tax relief and additional health spending that includes increased compensation to healthcare workers. The government of Punjab, announced a tax relief package of PKR18 billion and a cash grants program of PKR10 billion, while the government of Sindh has announced a cash grant and ration distribution program of PKR1.5 billion for the low-income households; (ii) Elimination of the duties on imports of emergency health equipment; (iii) 10 June 2020, The State Bank of Pakistan has announced an elaborate arrangement of teams of focal persons who will be responsible to address isues faced by businesses in availing the financing under the SBP ROZGAR scheme (refinance schemes for payment of wages and salaries to prevent layoffs); (iv) June 2020, The government is allowing banks to approve an Electronic Import Form (EIF) for the import of equipment donated by international donor agencies and foreign governments; (v) 11 February 2021, Pakistan has allowed private companies to import coronavirus vaccines and has agreed to exempt such imports from price caps.

12 - Non-Economic Measures
12A - Measures affecting travel and transport (local and international)

(i) April 2020, Closed borders with neighboring countries, international travel restrictions, and varying levels of lockdown in cities and provinces across the country; (ii) 29 May 2020, The country resumes international flight operations; (iii) 14 December 2020, Passengers arriving in Pakistan are required to present evidence of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 96 hours prior to departure. There is a list of countries exempt from this which is updated every 2 weeks. All international air passengers travelling to Pakistan are subject to screening for COVID-19 symptoms on arrival; (iv) 29 December 2020: Pakistan officials extended entry ban for most passengers with a travel history to the UK through 4 January 2021; (v) 30 January 2021, Pakistan extended the travel restrictions on several countries, including the United Kingdom, till 28 February 2021 to contain the spread of the deadly variant of the coronavirus amidst a second wave of infections. 28 February 2021, Pakistan’s aviation authority extended the existing restrictions for all inbound travellers for another two weeks as the nation continues to witness a surge in the number of coronavirus cases; (vi) 5 April 2021, Travellers from 22 countries would not be allowed entry under the new rules, effective until 20 April 2021; (vii) 27 April 2021, New COVID-19 restrictions were imposed, which included a ban on inter-provincial transport to contain a further rise in COVID-10 cases during the Eid al-Fitr holiday. There was a complete ban on inter-provincial and inter-city transport during the Eid holidays, except for the residents of Gilgit-Baltistan, during 8–16 May 2021. Travel nodes leading to the tourist destinations, particularly the scenic valleys of Murree, Swat, and northern Gilgit-Baltistan region, also remained closed during the said period; (viii) 2 May 2021, All international passengers would be required to undergo rapid antigen test and would also have to show an RT-PCR test conducted within 72 hours before hoarding. Passengers with negative COVID test will undergo self-quarantine for 10 days and those found positive will be shifted to a self-paid facility. The country would also reduce the number of international flights into and out of its airports by 80%; (ix) 13 June 2021, Pakistan’s National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has imposed tougher restrictions on passengers coming from India, Bangladesh, Iraq, Iran, Indonesia, and South Africa. In total, it placed stricter restrictions on travellers from 26 countries. The other countries include Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Tunisia, Bolivia, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Namibia, Paraguay, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay; (x) 3 August 2021, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) tightened restrictions for international travellers to Pakistan. All inbound passengers aged six years and above will be required to submit a negative PCR result conducted within 72 hours prior to their departure to Pakistan. Those who tested positive for Covid-19 between the age of six and 12 years will be home quarantined, while passengers aged over 12 years will be quarantined at a designated facility; (xi) 14 August 2021, Pakistan has lifted travel restrictions from 11 countries; (xii) 30 August 2021, The Civil Aviation Authority extended the restrictions imposed on inbound flights util 30 September 2021, as it continues the ban placed on countries in Category C [update].

12B - Measures affecting business and workplace

(i) April 2020, The federal government in coordination with provinces had partially eased the lockdown since 15 April 2020, by allowing ‘low-risk industries’ to restart operation with newly developed Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). This partial lockdown will be further eased on 9 May 2020, to allow the opening of several industrial units and small retail shops in phases and using proper SOPs; (ii) 19 May 2020, The Supreme Court ordered the government to lift some remaining restrictions imposed on business, in particular shopping malls be reopened and curbs to be lifted on business opening on the weekends; (iii) 2 June 2020, The government announced that all the businesses would be open except the ones that are considered in the negative list; (iv) 27 April 2021, New COVID-19 restrictions were imposed, which included closure of all tourist resorts, hotels, restaurants, and shopping centers from 8 - 16 May 2021 to contain a further rise in COVID-19 cases during the Eid al-Fitr holiday; (v) 17 May 2021, The government eased restrictions after the May 8-16 countrywide lockdown and allowed offices and businesses to resume. However, the ban on all types of tourism activities would continue; (vi) 8 August 2021, The Sindh government on Sunday announced revised COVID-19 restrictions across the province. Markets and business activities can continue till 8pm instead of 6pm. Ban on indoor dining would continue, however, outdoor dining have been allowed under strict COVID-19 protocol till 10pm. Routine work would continue in public and private sector offices, but attendance would be reduced to 50%; (vii) 29 August 2021, Pakistan extended restrictions to 27 cities from the earlier 13 cities to control the fourth wave of COVID-19 in the country. The new restrictions would be imposed from 1 September 2021 across the country, under which all commercial activities, except essential services including grocery stores and pharmacies, would be suspended by 8pm. Markets in all 27 cities would be closed twice a week, whereas indoor dining, indoor weddings, shrines and cinema halls, recreational parks, and swimming pools will remain closed. All public and private offices and public transport have been allowed to operate at a 50% capacity, and railways at a 70% capacity [update].

12C - Others

(i) April 2020, School and university closures and cancellation and banning of public events. Quarantines in localized areas and social distancing measures. Educational institutes were expected to reopen starting 15 July 2020; (ii) 27 July 2020, Strict lockdown imposed in Punjab for 10 days; (iii) 4 August 2020, Balochistan will extend the smart lockdown until 17 August; (iv) 23 September 2020, Middle schools will reopen; (v) November 2020, The government has placed a ban on gatherings at wedding halls from 20 November 2020 in big cities, including Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Hyderabad, Multan and Rawalpindi; (vi) 4 January 2021, The federal and provincial governments agreed to reopen educational institutions across the country in a phased manner from 18 January 2021; (vii) 25 February 2021, The federal education minister announced that all schools would go back to 5-day regular classes from 1 March 2021. All educational institutions would continue to observe normal corona SOPs such as physical distancing, mask-wearing and ensuring hand washing facilities; (viii) 10 March 2021, Educational institutes will close for two weeks from March 15 in seven cities sue to a surge in COVID-19 cases. The government has also decided to withdraw the permission given to resume indoor weddings, dine-in, cinemas and shrines, in view of the current circumstances; (ix) 15 March 2021, Authorities have sealed sections of the capital Islamabad due to a spike in cases and hospital admissions. Permission issues to al functions, festivals, and gatherins are withdrawn. Indoor activity is not allowed, and outdoor functions are only allowed for two hours with less than 300 people; (x) 28 March 2021, The government announced expanded lockdown in worst-hit districts including Islamabad. The ban on social, cultural, political, sports, and other events would be effective immediately, whereas the order on weddings, both indoor and outdoor, would take effect from 5 April 2021; (xi) 27 April 2021, New COVID-19 restrictions were imposed, which included closure of all parks, beaches, and other public places from 8 - 16 May 2021 to contain a further rise in coronavirus cases during the Eid al-Fitr holiday; (xii) 6 May 2021, Provinces in Pakistan announced a complete lockdown. This includes Punjab, Sindh, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; (xii) 20 May 2021, The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Wednesday decided to allow opening of educational institutions in districts with less than 5% COVID-19 positivity ratio, outdoor dining by restaurants, and tourism sector under stringent standard operation procedures from 24 May 2021. Outdoor marriage ceremonies with a maximum of 150 guests would be allowed from June 1, while closure of shrines, cinemas, indoor dining, indoor gyms, amusement parks, and ban on contact sports, festivals, all types of indoor and outdoor cultural, musical, religious and other events would continue; (xiii) 2 August 2021, Islamabad imposed a smart lockdown in various sectors. Exemptions to the order include essential services and supplies like pharmacy and medicine shops, grocery store and bakeries, patients for medical aid/medical consultation, rationing, drinking water supplies, utilities, and emergencies. The Sindh province also imposed a partial lockdown until 8 August 2021; (xiv) 22 August 2021, The Sindh authorities have announced that schools would be closed indefinitely till the COVID-19 situation improves; (xv) 29 August 2021, Pakistan extended restrictions to 27 cities from the earlier 13 cities to control the fourth wave of COVID-19 in the country. Educational activities in schools would be allowed thrice a week at a 50% capacity [update]; (xvi) 4 September 2021, The Punjab government on Friday decided to close all public and private schools, colleges, and universities in the province due to a surge in COVID-19 cases, from 6 September 2021 to 11 September 2021 [update]; (xvii) 12 September 2021, The capital administration on Saturday sealed some localities in different sectors as COVID-19 spread in the capital. Selected streets would have restricted movement/controlled entry and exit [update]; (xvii) 22 September 2021, National Command and Operation Center decided to lift additional restrictions in six districts of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa [update].