Planning A Trip Abroad? These Are The Travel Criteria For Indian Tourists Amid COVID-19

World Tourism Day is celebrated on September 27, as on this day in 1970, the Statutes of the UNWTO were adopted. It is recognised by United Nations and is being celebrated since 1980.

With travel being impacted by the onslaught of the pandemic, it had become a thing of the past across the world. However, with the COVID-19 under control, post the second wave in India, travel and tourism seems to be picking up speed. More and more Indians are planning trips abroad – for professional or personal reasons. It thus becomes inevitable to understand rules and regulations that different countries adopt for Indians keen on traveling to their shores.

Here is a comprehensive list of some of the top destinations from India.

United States: 

People from India cannot directly visit the United States until they are US citizens, legal permanent residents, or their immediate family members live there.  The US has strictly prohibited visitors who have been in the following countries during the past 14 days: China, Iran, United Kingdom, European Schengen Region, Brazil, South Africa, Republic of Ireland, and India. However, people can visit any other country, apart from the above-mentioned nations, and get themselves quarantined there for 14 days before visiting the US. 

Also, those visiting the US must have a negative RT-PCR report which is not more than 3 days old or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in the past 3 months before they board a flight to the United States. Unvaccinated travellers must get themselves self-quarantined for 7 days with a negative test and 10 days if they don’t get tested.

South Africa: 

Travellers willing to visit South Africa are expected to produce a PCR test that is not older than 72 hours from the time of departure from the country of origin to South Africa. Upon arrival at the airport of entry, the traveller will be screened for any COVID-19 symptoms. If they display any COVID-19–related symptoms then they will be expected to take a mandatory COVID-19 test.  This test will be at the traveler’s cost.  If the COVID-19 test comes back positive, the traveler will be subjected to a 10-day quarantine at a designated site, at their own cost. 

United Arab Emirates:

Those who are fully vaccinated can visit the United Arab Emirates. Those visiting UAE must be inoculated with the COVID-19 vaccine which is approved by World Health Organisation, including AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech, Sinopharm, and Sinovac. Passengers arriving must take a mandatory PCR test at the airport. 

Germany:

Indians can visit Germany only if they serve in an important role or if they have an urgent need to travel or are fully vaccinated. The vaccination dose must be of any vaccine mentioned on the website of Paul-Ehrlich-Institut, a German federal agency, medical regulatory body and research institution for vaccines and biomedicine. 

France: 

France is giving visas to Indians who are fully vaccinated with any vaccine except Covaxin. Since Covaxin is not yet authorized by the French government hence rules set for non-vaccinated will be applicable to those who are vaccinated with the vaccine. If you are non-vaccinated and above 12 years of age, then you need to present a negative PCR test taken less than 72 hours before departure or a negative antigenic test taken less than 48 hours before departure. You may also have to take a random test when you arrive in France and you need to self-isolate for 7 days.

Sri Lanka: 

Sri Lanka has opened its borders to Indian tourists. Fully vaccinated travellers will require a negative Covid-19 (RT-PCR) test report conducted 72 hours prior to arrival and an on-arrival RT-PCR test at a certified hotel, High Commission of Sri Lanka in New Delhi has stated.  

Maldives: 

Indians do not need a prior visa to visit the Maldives, they can get visas on arrival. Also, travellers will be exempted from the mandatory travel quarantine within the Maldives if they have completed two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine two weeks before their travel date. However, they need to present a negative RT-PCR test, taken not prior to 96 hours before travel, to the authorities.

Switzerland: 

The Embassy of Switzerland in New Delhi is currently accepting all visa categories for persons arriving from India, who can prove that they have been fully vaccinated. The traveller must be vaccinated with CHE, EU, and WHO recognized vaccines. Those fully vaccinated will not have to undergo quarantine.

Australia:

The borders of Australia are currently closed due to Covid-19 protocols. The travel allowed is only between Australia and New Zealand. Apart from this, those who are exempted are, based on education, official travel, an immediate family member of an Australian citizen or permanent resident etc. All travellers arriving in Australia, including Australian citizens, must quarantine for 14 days at a designated facility, such as a hotel at their port of arrival.​

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