COVID Travel Curbs: Australia Bans Passenger Flights From India
Several countries have imposed restrictions on travel to and/or from India amid the most recent COVID-19 surge.
Australia on Tuesday, 27 April, announced a temporary ban on direct passenger flights from India as the country grappled with mounting coronavirus infections.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that the suspension would be in effect at least till 15 May owing to the "clearly present" risks of travel from India. This leaves thousands of Australians stranded in the subcontinent.
The Australian PM also said that India was enduring a "terrible humanitarian crisis", which is also hitting Australian families with ties to the country. "The scenes that we're seeing from India are truly heartbreaking," he added.
Following countries have imposed restrictions on travel to and/or from India amid the most recent COVID-19 surge:
All direct passenger flights from India have been banned until 15 May. The Morrison government had reduced the number of commercial flights by 30 percent last week and travel was limited to essential purposes only.
Even though the US has not yet announced any bans on travellers from India, the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a non-binding advisory asking people to not go to India if not fully vaccinated.
As per the Singapore government, non-Singapore citizens or permanent residents travelling from India will be granted fewer entry approvals. Meanwhile, all travellers having recently visited India are 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.
The United Kingdom has 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.
All direct commercial flights coming from India have been suspended in the nation since 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 and air freight flights will continue to operate.
Earlier, the Hong Kong government had banned commercial passenger flights from India for 14 days from Tuesday as it was 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.
Pakistan banned travel from India for two weeks in wake of the surge in cases, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) in Islamabad said on 19 April.
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.
Canada has suspended all passenger flights from India and Pakistan for 30 days, Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said. The restriction took effect at 11:30 pm Eastern Time on 15 April. The curbs apply to only passenger flights and not cargo flights, which will continue to be allowed.
Non-UAE citizens are not allowed entry into the country until 4 May. After which, the decision will be subject to review, reported Gulf News.
Passengers who have travelled through India in the last 14 days are not be permitted to board flights from any other point to the UAE. However, departure flights are still operating and the ban will not extend to UAE citizens, diplomatic passport holders and official delegations, it said.
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 tourism minister of Maldives Tweeted on Sunday, “With effect from April 27, (Maldives’ health authorities) suspends tourists travelling from India to Maldives from staying at tourist facilities in inhabited islands.”
Germany also restricted flights from India with immediate effect. Only German nationals and holders of a German resident permit travelling from India are allowed to enter in the nation. Lufthansa and Air India say they are not suspending flights between the two countries.
Italy has restricted foreign travellers who have been in India in the past 14 days from entering the country.
Italian residents in India will be allowed to return with a negative test results before departure and quarantine upon arrival.
Certificates of entry (COEs) that were issued to non-Thai nationals to enter the southeastern nation from India with the arrival date from 1 May will be cancelled until further notice.
The Embassy also said it will not accommodate non-Thai nationals on the flights to Bangkok on 1 May, 15 May and 22 May, Reuters reported.
All air travel from India has been suspended. Beginning 26 April, only passengers travelling from India via land will be allowed to enter the country for the next 14 days
The Transport Ministry of Malaysia has restricted entry of Indian nationals and passengers and implement strict controls for ships from the South Asian country docking at the nation’s ports, Bloomberg reported.
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