As per the latest Indian travel restrictions, India may stop resuming commercial international flights from 15 December 2021 as discussed before, with respect to the developing situation relevant to the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. Let us now discuss the latest guidelines for international travel to India and from India.
In a statement on Wednesday, the BGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) said,
What Led To This Indian Travel Restriction?
Following the declaration on the resumption last week, at a review meeting based on the preparedness of the covid-19, the Prime Minister of India asked the government officials in reviewing the plans so that the international travel restrictions can be eased out in respect to the evolving new variant. After this, a meeting that was chaired by the home secretary on Sunday planned that the decision on the resumption’s effective date of the scheduled commercial flights will be revised based on the evolving global conditions.
As of Friday, India was ready to allow international commercial flights in India from Dec 15 after closing its borders effectively to most of the international travelers 21 months before. The country recently reported its first 2 cases of the new Omicron variant on Thursday in the state of Karnataka.
Nearly 40 nations have closed their borders or have imposed travel restrictions since the scientists in Botswana and South Africa detected Omicron late last month along with Australia, Israel, and Italy. Canada and the U.S have also declared tougher restrictions on travel that includes a ban on travelers from several parts of Africa.
Since its initial lockdown in last year’s March, India has permitted flights from only 28 nations under an air-bubble pact that catered fliers with special scenarios, such as Indian nationals who are stranded overseas or foreign nationals who hold medical visas. But it recently eliminated those needs. Now, travelers within the bubble can enter India so long as they are completely vaccinated and they also test negative for COVID within 72 hours of their flight.
4 international passengers who reached at the Indian capital Delhi’s airport last Wednesday tested positive for COVID-19, even though it is unclear if any of the infected passengers were infected with the Omicron variant. India is especially cautious of a possible third wave outbreak of COVID-19 after it suffered a devastating Delta-fueled wave in this spring.
Flight Fares Rise Under Indian Travel Restrictions
Expecting further Indian travel restrictions between the US because of the latest Covid-19 variant, bookings and airfares for the next fortnight have rocketed. People are fearing about the U.S travel ban from India.
A quick search on Google illustrates that flights between the Indian metro cities like Mumbai and Delhi to important destinations like New York stand anywhere between ₹1.35 lakh and ₹1.63 lakh for one round trip between December 2 and December 13. Latest travel to India from USA covid guidelines will be issued by both the nations clearing all things.
For instance, an economy seat on a Bangalore and San Francisco flight on similar dates stands between ₹1.75 lakh to ₹2.82 lakh for one round trip whereas a business class flight could charge one nearly ₹5.6 lakh. The flights seem to be completely sold out till December 15 as well.
It was only on 8 November this year that the US eased out the travel restrictions that were levied back on the opening weeks of the 2020 crisis. However, the WHO (World Health Organization) has now cautioned that the Omicron coronavirus variant has a high risk of infection around the world.
The latest travel restriction went into effect on November 29, 2021, based on a White House Proclamation for 14 days. It is predicted that the US government could soon lock its borders on international travel, sending anxiety among travelers to get back to their base.
Travel Restrictions By Other Nations
A number of nations around the globe are restricting travel from South African nations that include Zimbabwe, South Africa, Botswana, and many more along with curtailing travel from the countries where the new variant has been identified. Starting Monday, the US started to prevent travelers from Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique, Lesotho, Eswatini, and Malawi from entering the United States. Similarly, the UK, Canada, and various EU nations have also started with their restrictions for travelers from South Africa and its neighboring jurisdictions. As of now, there are no Canada travel restrictions from India, but soon there is an intimation of the borders of Canada getting closed. Some nations like Japan have also decided to fully shut down international flights, and have even asked their airlines to stop taking further bookings from International passengers.
The latest variant of the coronavirus is again going to take a toll on the world. People will again have to stay locked in their homes for their safety. Recently the Indian government has imposed travel bans on international travel and has reversed their decisions to resume international commercial flights from Dec 15. The latest Indian travel restrictions will be in effect from the 15 Dec 2021 till situations come under control. Many are wondering when international flights will open from India to Canada. But as of now, there is no intimation of the same.