India is open to visitors from 27 territories Through the travel bubble deals but tourism in general remains closed. Incoming travelers must submit a self-declaration and upload a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours at the time of boarding.
The government is officially working on a “calibrated resumption of tourist visas on a country-specific basis”With the aim of reopening the country for tourism as soon as possible.
Frontiers of India reopening – latest updates
In January, the Indian government announced an ambitious program to vaccinate 30 million health, sanitation, police and other essential frontline workers during the first phase of vaccination implementation. 3 months later, that didn’t happen.
To date, the country has been able to fully vaccinate 9.3 million citizens of 1.366 billion people. Once the government has completed the first phase, all people over 50 with underlying health problems will be eligible for the vaccine. The country plans to vaccinate 300 million people “in the coming months”.
March 20 – New restrictions
As of today, all arrivals to the country must present a negative result of COVID-19 obtained in a sample collected in the 72 hours prior to departure.
A sharp increase in cases has led several states to impose or toughen curfews and other restrictions.
The Indian government has been officially holding interministerial meetings to create a strategy that will allow the country to reopen tourism to countries where the situation of COVID-19 is under control, according to local media.
In addition, as of February 17, India opened a new air travel bubble with Russia. Commercial airlines in both countries are allowed to restart flights to and from them.
Until February 24, India vaccinated 0.86 doses per 100 people.
The temporary ban on visitors from the UK has been lifted, but there are still some restrictions in place. Visitors from the UK are required to report negative results from the COVID-19 test prior to departure and take a second test upon arrival in India. They also need to be quarantined for 7 days in an approved facility and then 7 days at home.
Restrictions for other visitors depend on the region they are visiting. Some destinations require quarantines and testing.
Who can enter India?
As of today, only the following travelers are allowed to enter the country.
- Indian citizens (also citizens of Bhutan and Nepal)
- Foreign health professionals
- Business travelers
- Medical tourists
- Visa holders, except for tourist visa holders.
What are the entry requirements to access India?
- All travelers must apply for a visa at the Embassy of India in advance.
- To enter the country, they must complete a self-declaration form 72 hours before departure and submit a negative Covid-19 RT-PCR test on arrival.
- Send proof of a negative COVID-19 test result obtained 96 hours before arrival.
- If they do not have negative test results, they will face 7 days of institutional quarantine, followed by 7 days of isolation at home.
- Travelers will also be thermally selected at the airport upon arrival.
- All visitors who experience symptoms will be isolated.
Which countries can now travel to India?
As of April 4, travelers visiting the following 27 countries may be allowed entry.
- United Arab Emirates (United Arab Emirates)
- United Kingdom (UK)
- United States of America (USA)
How has Coronavirus affected India?
Since April 4, India has reported 12,484,127 positive COVID cases and 164,655 deaths caused by the virus. India remains the second most infected country, after the United States.
Although India originally imposed strict restrictions on its population to help stem the spread of the disease, over time compliance has become a problem, as there are many daily workers in the country who have very little savings. Many states have also decided to end the blockades early due to economic concerns.
However, even when the blocks were in place, the lack of contact tracking and extremely crowded conditions in cities made it difficult to contain the spread of Covid-19.
A worrying piece of information is that tribal groups on the isolated islands of Andaman and Nicobar have contracted the virus. As India tightly controls access to these areas, the fact that even they are getting sick means that the virus has spread across the country.
Is it safe to travel to India?
While not all parts of India are experiencing an increase in cases, most major cities are.
Although many hotels, restaurants, beaches and other tourist sites have been opened, they are doing so with limited seating capacity, thermal checks and other restrictions.
According to the CDC, the situation of COVID-19 in India is at alert level 2. This means that the country is increasingly better at controlling the spread of the virus. (Source: CDC.gov)
Why visit India?
India is home to one of the oldest civilizations in the world and has an architecture that is rooted in this history.
Here visitors will find 32 UNESCO World Heritage sites, which make it a delight for lovers of history or design.
One building that should be on everyone’s wish list is the Taj Mahal, considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It was built by Emperor Shah Jahan as a marble mausoleum for his wife, Mumtaz Mahal.
In addition to this impressive structure, there are many other architectural wonders in India. There are ruins of ancient cities, forts dating from the British era and more recent monuments after India’s independence. The variety of temples, mosques and churches speak of the religious diversity of India.
Travelers will encounter Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Zoroastrians, Catholics, Jains and Buddhists. Many tourists come to India to develop a deeper appreciation of their spirituality, whether on a meditation or yoga retreat, or simply visiting the sacred sites.
There is also a wide variety of foods, from moderately spicy northern curry to warm southern flavors. Some of the tastiest meals can be eaten with Indian street food, sold by vendors who specialize in a few dishes.
The Indian people are considered to be one of the most graceful in Asia. Wherever tourists go, they are greeted with smiles.
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