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Pakistan to remove Iran from virus-related travel restrictions list

COVID-19 cases have been falling for weeks in Iran, where military leaders have signaled a desire to improve relations with Pakistan.
AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images

Pakistan will soon remove Iran from its coronavirus-related travel restrictions list.

The South Asian country’s National Command Operation Center decided Wednesday to remove Iran from its "List C" group of countries. The decision will take effect on Nov. 10, Iran’s official Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

Travel to Pakistan is restricted from List C countries and potential visitors from these states need advance permission from the National Command Operation Center. Iraq is also on the list, according to the Pakistani government’s website.

Last month, Iran’s consul general in Islamabad Muhammad Raza Nazri asked Pakistan to remove Iran from the list. The diplomat said the designation was adversely affecting trade and air travel between the two neighbors, the Pakistani news outlet The Express Tribune reported.

The COVID-19 situation in Iran has improved recently. More than 60% of the population is now vaccinated against the virus. After initial delays, the government has secured more vaccine doses and stepped up immunizations this fall. Daily COVID-19 cases have been for the most part steadily falling since August. The country of more than 80 million is now averaging around 10,000 cases a day, according to data from Reuters.

The removal of Iran from Pakistan’s travel restrictions list could be a sign of further improvement in bilateral ties. The country’s military leaders pledged last month to strengthen relations. The meeting followed the Taliban defeating the US-backed government in neighboring Afghanistan in August.

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