The Covid-19 crisis in the country has become a challenge for many Non-resident Indians, as most nations extend travel restrictions and bans for travellers from India. Indians who work abroad have a tough time complying with the travel regulations and other restrictions placed by different countries.
In India, the second wave of the Covid-19 outbreak hit its peak when most nations plan to go back to the normal state of affairs. The availability of vaccination is another concern, considering many countries have made it a compulsory criterion for international travellers.
Following the surge of Covid-19 in India, several countries banned flights/issued guidelines for passengers travelling from India.
UAE, a major international destination for Indians, has extended their travel restrictions till June. The Emirates had banned all flights from India except Cargo flights, with effect from April 24 midnights. However, UAE citizens, diplomatic missions appointed by the countries, official delegations, businessmen travelling on chartered flights, and golden residency were exempted from these restrictions. Both Kuwait and Iran banned travellers from India from April 24 and April 25; only cargo flights are allowed.
The USA has issued a travel advisory to their citizens for visiting India. In addition, the entry into the United States of certain nonimmigrant travellers who have been physically present in India is suspended, with effect from May 4. However, U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents (LPR), and immigrants are not subject to the proclamation. The suspension of entry also does not apply to non-U.S. citizen spouses or unmarried children under the age of 21 of US citizens and legal permanent residents. The United Airlines resumed flight operation to India after a short suspension citing administrative reasons.
The Government of Canada has also suspended flights from India until June 21, 2021. Passengers who travel to Canada from India via an indirect route during the period will need to obtain a pre-departure negative COVID-19 molecular test result from a third country before boarding a flight to Canada.
UK added India to its travel “Red list” and barred all travellers from the country and mandated 10 days hotel quarantine for all U.K. and Irish citizens going back from India.
France, Germany and Italy
The travellers from India will have to undergo the mandatory antigen test on their arrival in France, apart from the pre-boarding RT-PCR test. Germany, Italy and other European nations have also placed similar restrictions for travellers from India.
Indonesia is not issuing Visas to any foreigners who have visited India during the past 14 days. According to the official websites, International airline operations between India and Singapore remain suspended, except for international repatriation flights under India’s Vande Bharat Mission. Passengers from India will have to undergo a COVID test upon their arrival in Hong Kong, followed by a mandatory quarantine for 14-21 nights, as directed by the health authorities.
Although facilitated commercial flights from India to Australia have resumed, the Govt. of Australia advises not to travel to India. Passengers need to undertake a rapid antigen test before boarding these flights, in addition to the PCR test already required before travelling to Australia.
New Zealand allows only the citizens and their immediate family members from high-risk countries (including India) to enter New Zealand. Other travellers, including New Zealand residents, are required to spend 14 days outside a very high-risk country before their arrival here. Transit through a very high-risk country is excluded from the 14-day requirement.
Qatar authorities have made a negative RT-PCR test report at the Indian departure airport for all the travellers. The test report should be validated and certified from an ICMR accredited lab and conducted within 72 hours before the scheduled time of arrival in Qatar. But the borders yet to be opened for visitors and tourists.
Bahrain and Oman
For travelling to Bahrain- the negative RT-PCR test should be completed within 48 hours before the scheduled time of departure. Oman allows entry only for Oman citizens, Diplomats, Health care workers and their families returning from India, with a negative test report at the time of departure and will have to undergo quarantine upon arrival.