The Iraqi government on Monday announced it was easing coronavirus-related measures for travellers arriving to or leaving Iraq as the country emerged from the fourth wave of the pandemic.
The measures, approved during a meeting of the Higher Committee for Health and National Safety, will come into force starting April 1, a government statement read.
Vaccinated passengers are no longer required to present a negative PCR test and instead they only need to submit an international Covid-19 vaccination certificate, the government said.
The vaccination certificate must show that the passenger received either one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, or two doses of other approved vaccines, it added.
Those who cannot be vaccinated owing to health reasons need to present a medical report certified by the Ministry of Health and a negative PCR test.
Early this year, Iraq was hit by the fast-spreading Omicron variant. Daily new cases peaked on January 28 at 8,554 before dropping in recent weeks to fewer than 1,000.
On Monday, the country registered 737 new cases and 18 deaths, taking the total number of confirmed infections to 2,308,928 and known fatalities to 25,068.
Even though Iraq has a mandatory vaccination programme, the coverage is low with only a little more than 10 million of the nearly 40 million population vaccinated.
Iraq’s Health Ministry has repeatedly tried to reassure people that the vaccines are not harmful, but this has not convinced more than half of the population who have a long-standing distrust of the government.
The Higher Committee for Health and National Safety also called on government ministries and agencies to follow up the vaccination of their employees as per regulations and to apply safety measures inside offices.
Students at government and private colleges will be allowed to attend classes in the 2022-2023 academic year, the statement added.