Travel Ban For Indians

With the current Covid-19 pandemic situation that has disrupted the normal way of life, the daily functioning of many businesses, schools, colleges, and other daily affairs has come to a standstill. Work and study from home were introduced, thanks to the internet. But when the situation got slightly better after a complete lockdown, everything went back to normal well, except for schools, colleges, and other huge companies and organizations.

However, that led to an increase in cases within India and it has worsened the situation. With a partial lockdown in process, many every day businesses have resumed. Transport and daily marketing are limited. No permission is granted for any kind of large gatherings. Malls and other recreational areas are shut. Schooling and work from home are running in full swing. Delivery of various goods and foods is the norm of the day.

Amidst the chaos and frustration of staying at home with the unavailability of outdoor recreation, people tend to get frustrated and bored.

With plenty of travel restrictions and bans to different places, traveling around this time isn’t feasible. But still, some countries are openly welcoming Indian tourists with minimal restrictions.

So if you are a proud owner of an Indian passport, countries like Russia (Ukraine specifically), Egypt, Turkey, and South Africa have opened their doors for you.

Let’s take a look at each country with its travel restrictions:

  1. Russia – Russia is allowing Indians to enter with Russia tourist visas. But currently, very few flights are in operation. They had promised ‘vaccine holidays’ but these are now claimed to be false because the authorities there have sent a confirmation to India Today TV that Russia isn’t vaccinating tourists.
  2. Egypt – Indian tourists are allowed to enter Egypt. But on arrival, every tourist needs to undergo a rapid DNA test. If the result is positive, the traveler will either be sent back to India or shall be quarantined for 14days maximum.
  3. Turkey – Turkey is permitting Indian tourists within the country but 14days quarantine is a compulsion after arrival. On day 14, the traveler will need to do an RT-PCR test. if the result is negative only, then permission is granted to exit the quarantine center. If not, the period might be extended.
  4. South Africa – travel restrictions are yet to be imposed on Indian travelers, however, flights are limited along with ports of entry. Since the country is yet under Level 1 curfew, meaning there are travel restrictions, it is not compliant with vacationers.

With the entry of the second wave of this pandemic in India, many countries have banned incoming flights. And these countries are indeed the ones that get the most number of tourists from India. To name a few, some of the countries are United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, United States, Europe, Canada, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong among the rest.

During the lockdown, some countries had relaxed the ban and welcomed Indian tourists. These included UAE, Nepal, and Maldives that saw a surge of Indian tourists during 2020 and early 2021. However, on seeing the rise in cases and the situation worsening in India, the three aforesaid countries have banned Indian vacationers for the time being.

Happiness was short-lived for such tourists who planned to travel there for holidays. The countries weren’t even issuing E-visas back then.

The paradise-filled island of Seychelles had also opened doors for tourists from India. But as of 24th May 2021, the Seychelles Tourism Board in India stated that India has been ticked off from their list of countries from where they are welcoming tourists for vacation. This shall continue until further instructions.

Proper pandemic management within India will determine how long it will take for the countries to lift the ban on flights. It is said that they will wait only until the daily numbers of cases drop down to less than a lakh. But with the Covid-19 virus on the go, another disease named black fungus (which branches out from Covid-19 itself), has been on the rise.

With a rise in the black fungus cases, it is another major setback alongside the virus.

With the current situation like that, it doesn’t seem to improve any time before July and August.

As far as foreign tourists coming to India is concerned, that could be possible to some extent latest by next year only and not before that.

As per the estimation of the IATO (Indian Association of Tour Operators), the inbound tourism industry has faced RS. 2lakh crore direct losses since 31st March 2021. The indirect losses are worth RS. 6lakh crore. For outbound tourism, the losses to the economic value up to RS. 15lakh crore.

A decision needs to be taken to allow only those who are vaccinated or those carrying vaccine passports to be allowed to travel. That would work as a first step towards allowing Indian tourists to travel. This will allow countries like the UAE, which receive the most Indian visitors to allow entry like they did before the vaccine in the form of negative RT-PCR test results.

Tourism industry leaders have requested the Government to permit foreign tourists who have been vaccinated to enter India, not bothering about negative RT-PCR test results.

The year 2021 doesn’t see any near improvements. We can only hope that the situation improves and India can finally welcome foreigners for tourism, latest by January 2022. But if a third wave of the virus is to come, that seems impossible.

Living with the virus, getting vaccinated, and permit to travel with a flight ban removed will be the new way of life. But no one knows when it will happen.

Choose to spend your summer holidays in any of the above-mentioned countries. But make sure to abide by the rules, take precautions and stay safe.