Pakistan allows fully vaccinated Sikh pilgrims to visit Kartarpur Sahib from next month
The Pakistan government on Sunday announced it will allow pilgrims who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 to visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur for the death anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev next month.
Pakistan's National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) held a meeting during which they unanimously decided to allow Sikh pilgrims to visit Kartarpur in the Narowal district, next month under strict Covid-19 protocols, Dawn reported.
Dawn reported that fully vaccinated persons with certificates will be allowed to enter Pakistan provided they show real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test reports which should not be more than 72 hours old.
Apart from this, Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) will also be conducted at airports, and in case of a positive result, the individual will not be allowed to enter Pakistan.
Besides, as per non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs), a maximum of 300 people will be permitted to assemble at a time at the darbar.
Early this month, Pakistan has lifted travel restrictions from 11 countries including India.
Pakistan had put India under Category C from May 22 till August 12 due to the spread of the Delta variant, which meant that the movement of people, including Sikh pilgrims, from India, was subjected to special permission.
On March 16, 2020, both India and Pakistan had temporarily suspended the day-long pilgrimage in wake of Covid 19 and also suspended the registration for the Kartarpur Sahib pilgrimage.
However, on October 2, 2020, the Pakistan government announced to unilaterally open the Kartarpur Sahib pilgrimage but India denied to reciprocate the gesture.
India and Pakistan signed the Kartarpur corridor agreement with Pakistan on October 24, 2019.
Under the pact, Indian pilgrims of all faiths are allowed to undertake round-the-year visa-free travel through the Kartarpur corridor to Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib.