Nations Impose Travel Restrictions on India Amid COVID-19 Surge
Here is a list of all those countries that have imposed restrictions on travel with regard to India.
Amid a surge of COVID-19 cases in India, several countries have issued travel advisories or imposed bans on travel either to or from India.
India on Friday, 23 April, reported 3,32,730 fresh COVID-19 cases over the last 24 hours – the highest one-day spike so far.
As many as 2,263 COVID fatalities and 1,93,279 discharges were recorded, as per the Union Health Ministry. The total case tally has now reached 1,62,63,695 with 24,28,616 active patients and 1,86,920 deaths. The total number of recoveries, meanwhile, stands at 1,36,48,159.
Here is a list of all the countries that have imposed restrictions on travel to and/or from India.
The United States’ Center for Disease Control (CDC) has issued a travel advisory for citizens, asking them to avoid travel to the country. This comes in light of their assessment of the COVID-19 situation in India as “very high” risk.
In a statement, the CDC said, “Because of the current situation in India even fully vaccinated travellers may be at risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19 variants and should avoid all travel to India.”
The CDC further said that citizens should get fully vaccinated before travelling to India. “All travelers should wear masks, stay six feet away from one another, avoid crowds, and frequently wash their hands,” the statement read.
According to the health body, fully vaccinated travellers do not have to get tested before leaving the United States, unless the destination requires it. Further, it said that one would not have to self-quarantine after their arrival to the United States.
Singapore, which has largely kept COVID-19 in check, is stepping up curbs and reviewing border controls amid fresh surges in Europe and Asia. One of the steps involved is reducing border entry approvals and extending isolation measures for travellers from India, reported Bloomberg.
Non-Singapore citizens or permanent residents travelling from India will be granted fewer entry approvals, the Singapore government said in a press release on Tuesday. Meanwhile, starting at the end of 22 April, all travellers having recently visited India will be subjected to an extra seven days of home isolation. This is in addition to their 14-day quarantine at a government-designated facility, the report said.
Meanwhile, the United Kingdom on Monday added India to its travel 'Red list' amid the surge in COVID cases in the country and the emergence of a new COVID-19 variant in India.
As per Health Secretary Matt Hancock, all arrivals from India except for UK or Irish nationals has been banned temporarily.
“We’ve taken the difficult, but vital decision to add India to the ‘Red list’. This means anyone who is not a UK or Irish resident or a British citizen cannot enter the UK if they’ve been in India in the previous 10 days,” Britain Health Minister Matt Hancock told their Parliament.
According to the new order, people coming from ‘Red-list nations’ – which includes Pakistan and Bangladesh – must pay hefty amounts to stay at a government-approved quarantine facility for 10 days.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, meanwhile, called off a trip to New Delhi, citing an unrelenting surge in COVID cases in the country.
Kuwait on Saturday suspended all direct commercial flights coming from India until further notice, after instructions from health authorities.
All direct commercial flights coming from India have been suspended effective 24 April.
Passengers from India are not allowed to enter Kuwait, directly or via another country unless they have been in some other country apart from India for at least 14 days prior.
Kuwaitis and their immediate relatives are exempted from this rule, a notice said.
However, air freight flights will continue to operate.
Earlier, the Hong Kong government had banned commercial passenger flights from India, Pakistan and the Philippines for 14 days from Tuesday as these countries were at "extremely high-risk from COVID-19".
According to the announcement, anyone who spent more than two hours in these three countries are banned from entering Hong Kong. People already in quarantine in Hong Kong from these three nations will be ordered to undergo an additional test on the 26th day after arriving to the city.
Health officials had earlier decided to ban India's Vistara services from Mumbai, for two weeks until 2 May after a number of passengers were found to be COVID positive upon their arrival to Hong Kong.
Pakistan has banned travel from India for two weeks in wake of the surge in cases, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) in Islamabad said, according to IANS.
The NCOC on Monday, 19 April, decided to place India in its C-Category list, following which passengers coming from India via land or air routes are not being allowed to enter the country, the report said.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Thursday, 8 April, announced the temporary suspension of all travellers from India, including New Zealand’s own citizens or residents, for two weeks. This was due to the recent surge in COVID cases in India.
On 8 April, New Zealand recorded 23 COVID cases, 17 of which were from India, on its borders.
The French government has stated that it will impose a 10-day quarantine for travellers arriving from India in the coming days, to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The Australian government announced on Thursday that it will restrict the number of citizens returning from India and other ‘Red-zone’ countries to contain the spread of more virulent strains, as per Reuters.
The report added that it would result in 30 percent reduction in direct flights from India to Sydney. The new restriction will be announced in the next 24 hours.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said, “We’re in the middle of a global pandemic that is raging and Australia has been successful throughout this pandemic using very effective border arrangements. There will continue to be the opportunity for those to return from places like India, but in very controlled circumstances,” quoted Reuters.
Australia will ban travellers who are coming from any ‘Red-zone’ area.
The UAE has announced travel restrictions on non-UAE citizens travelling from India.
Non-UAE citizens will not be allowed entry into the country from 25 April, for 10 days until 4 May. It is then subject to review, reported Gulf News.
Passengers who have travelled through India in the last 14 days will not be permitted to board flights from any other point to the UAE.
However, departure flights will still operate and the ban will not extend to UAE citizens, diplomatic passport holders and official delegations, it said.
Meanwhile, Canada has suspended all passenger flights from India and Pakistan for 30 days, Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said, according to AFP.
"Given the high number of COVID-19 cases detected in air passengers arriving to Canada from India and Pakistan, I am suspending all commercial and private passenger flights arriving in Canada from Indian and Pakistan for 30 days," Alghabra told reporters.
The restriction took effect at 11:30 pm Eastern Time on Thursday.
The curbs will apply to only passenger flights and not cargo flights, which will continue to be allowed.
(The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)
Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.