International travel from India: Since India was unlocked after the coronavirus pandemic, restrictions and details regarding international travel have been unclear. Several countries have lifted travel restrictions from India, providing for air bubbles to undertake travel, thanks to which Indian and foreign airlines have offered many flights to different countries including UK, the United States, Canada, Germany, the United Arab Emirates. and France, according to an IE report. However, travel is subject to certain restrictions that have been put in place by the Union’s Home Office, as well as the governments of the destination countries.
Here’s everything you need to know about international travel from India during the pandemic.
Air transport bubbles explained
According to the IE report, the transport bubbles are temporary arrangements that two countries have put in place so that commercial flights between them can be restarted in the absence of regular international flights, in this case due to the pandemic. . Bubbles are reciprocal in nature and therefore both countries enjoy the same benefits. So far India has managed to come up with air bubble deals with Canada, Maldives, United Arab Emirates, United States, United Kingdom, France and Germany.
Traveling abroad: who is allowed?
The report cites guidelines for air bubbles and states that citizens of the respective countries and foreign citizens who wish to stop in those countries in transit can travel abroad. Apart from them, Indian nationals can also fly, but under certain conditions. For these six countries, Indian nationals holding a visa valid for at least one month, other than for tourism purposes, are allowed to travel. This means that Indians would be allowed to travel outside of India for study, business or work. In the United Arab Emirates, tourists have also been allowed to travel. Apart from this, the US Embassy in India resumed processing of student visas from Monday on a limited basis, and thus some students might be able to join US universities during the semester. autumn itself.
However, the Union Home Office said all such travel would be at the risk of the traveler himself, and he should keep in mind the existing restrictions on international travel.
Traveling to India: who is allowed?
Besides Indian nationals who can travel on inbound flights operated by Indian or foreign carriers, some foreign nationals are also allowed to enter. The government has now allowed all Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) cardholders to enter India, amending its previous ordinance allowing only certain cardholders. In addition, foreign businessmen holding business visas, foreign health researchers, foreign health professionals, foreign engineers and technicians would be allowed to come to India for health sector facilities, including including laboratories and factories, subject to a letter of invitation. Apart from this, foreign management, design, engineering or other specialists would be allowed to travel to India on behalf of foreign business entities located in India.
Airlines operating international flights
Air India, the national carrier, has operated several international flights to major Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kochi, Amritsar, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Thiruvananthapuram and Hyderabad and they carry passengers to and from international locations like Paris, Birmingham, Newark , London, Frankfurt, Chicago, Washington DC and San Francisco. Airlines in these countries also operate flights to and from India, being allowed to carry passengers on both legs of the trips, which sets them apart from repatriation flights that require one leg to stay empty. Air France, United, Air Canada, Emirates, Virgin Atlantic, Lufthansa and Etihad are other airlines that currently operate internationally.
The report cites a statement from Lufthansa saying that since Indian nationals are now allowed to travel to India from Canada, Germany and the United States, the airline would operate flights from Munich to Delhi and Frankfurt to Mumbai, Bengaluru and Delhi. Other than that, Virgin Atlantic plans to operate round-trip flights three times a week from London to Delhi starting September 1 and London to Mumbai starting September 16. Air Canada also offers flights three times a week between Delhi and Toronto. , adds the report.
Private Indian airlines can also be expected to benefit from the air bubble deals and start international operations, with Vistara likely to lead the charge.
Requirements for international travel
Earlier in August, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare issued guidelines for international passengers arriving in India. According to them, all passengers are required to submit a self-declaration form on the official website of New Delhi Airport, and this should be done at least 72 hours before travel. A commitment must also be submitted that passengers would undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine, of which seven days would be in an establishment, the cost of which would be borne by the travelers themselves, followed by seven days of home isolation to monitor their health. .
For passengers traveling overseas from India, different countries have different standards regarding isolation and testing. The report says France is requiring people arriving from 16 countries, including India, the United States and Brazil, to undergo an on-site test for COVID-19. The UK has a list of countries and people arriving from these places do not need to self-isolate upon arrival, but this list does not include India, which requires all people traveling to the UK United from India to self-isolate for a period of 14 days.