Updated 21 September 2021
After being confined to their homes for a year, travellers around the world are now seeing a glimmer of hope. With many countries easing their restrictions and a few jettisoning them altogether, holiday plans don’t seem that far down the lane.
Can Indians travel now? Where can they fly to? Which countries are welcoming Indians? Read on to find out.
Can Indians travel right now?
Apart from the Vande Bharat Mission, scheduled commercial flights have been suspended by the Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) till 30 September. “However, international scheduled flights may be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on a case-to-case basis,” the Directorate General of Civil Aviation added.
India currently has a bilateral air bubble agreement with 28 countries, which include Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Canada, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Iraq, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, the Maldives, Nepal, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania, Ukraine, the UAE, the UK, Uzbekistan and the US. Under an air-bubble pact between two countries, special international flights can be operated by their airlines between their territories. But for the most part, international travel remains restricted.
Moreover, several countries across the globe have put a travel ban on India owing to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases. This means, even if the Indian authorities were to allow international leisure travel, the doors of these destinations would still be closed to Indian tourists.
Where can Indians travel?
Several countries are now opening up to international visitors, relying on testing and quarantine requirements. Once the government of India loosens up the guidelines for foreign non-essential travel, Indian globetrotters can choose any of them to explore.
Keep in mind that quarantine and airport testing may be required upon return, depending upon the destination you’re returning from.
The Americas and Caribbean
No quarantine required
- Belize. Either a negative PCR test result or proof of having received two full doses of a COVID-19 vaccine is required.
- Costa Rica. Testing is not necessary. Travellers must fill out the Health Pass form.
- Ecuador. Passengers aged 2 and above must have one of the following documents. A completed “Declaracion de salud del viajero” must be presented upon arrival. Quarantine for 10 days is required only if you don’t carry negative test result
- a negative COVID-19 antigen or RT-PCR test taken at most 3 days before arrival
- a COVID-19 vaccination certificate, or a
- COVID-19 recovery certificate.
- El Salvador. Visitors need an LAMP, NAAT, RT-PCR test result issued within 72 hours of the scheduled arrival, or proof of vaccination. Passengers younger than 2 years and those having a diplomatic passport are exempt from this.
- Guatemala. Arrivals need to present one of the following-
- COVID–19 vaccine certificate proving the vaccine was administered at least two weeks prior to arrival
- a negative COVID–19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival
- proof of having tested positive for COVID–19 and recovered within three months of arrival
- Guyana. All passengers must take a test at least 7 days prior to arrival and have a negative PCR COVID-19 certificate upon entry.
- Honduras. You must fill an Immigration Pre-check form and present a negative COVID-19 test result upon arrival from a test taken in the previous 72 hours.
- Nicaragua. Passengers are required to have a medical certificate with a negative COVID-19 test result, and the test must have been taken no more than 72 hours before arrival.
- Paraguay. Visitors must have a medical certificate with a negative COVID-19 LAMP, NAAT or RT-PCR test result, taken at most 72 hours before arrival, and international medical insurance with coverage of coronavirus treatment costs. Passengers must complete a “Traveler’s Health Information” at most 24 hours before departure.
- The Dominican Republic. Travellers are not required to take any pre-departure tests but will be subject to randomized breath testing and health screening on arrival. Quarantine is required only if you exhibit symptoms of COVID-19. Passengers must complete an “Electronic Ticket” form.
- Venezuela. All travellers entering Venezuela must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test performed within 48 hours of boarding their incoming flight and will be subjected to a COVID-19 test at port of entry.
- Barbados. Travellers (regardless of vaccination status) need a valid PCR test result on arrival. They need to take two more tests, on at the arriving airport and a second on day 8. Quarantine for 7 days is mandatory.
- Bermuda. Passengers must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken at most 5 days before arrival. They need to quarantine for four days until receiving a negative result from the COVID-19 test. A travel authorization needs to be obtained at most 3 days before departure.
- Mexico. There are no testing requirements. A completed “Cuestionario de identificacion de factores de riesgo en viajeros” must be presented to immigration upon arrival.
- Panama. Travellers have to show a negative COVID-19 PCR, RT-PCR, or Antigen test result, taken at most 48 hours before arrival and need to take a second test on arrival. A completed “Declaracion Jurada de Salud” must be presented upon arrival. Quarantine is necessary for 3 days on arrival.
No quarantine required
- Egypt. All arriving international travellers will need to present a negative PCR test certificate for COVID-19 taken at the most 72 hours prior to arrival.
- Ethiopia. All passengers over 10 years travelling to Ethiopia need to present a negative RT PCR test certificate for COVID-19 before boarding a flight. The certificate validity shouldn’t exceed 120 hours on arrival from the date sample is given. Quarantine is required only if you don’t carry such a certificate.
- Gambia. Visitors must have a medical certificate with a negative Coronavirus (COVID-19) PCR test result issued at most 72 hours before arrival. Quarantine is required only if you don’t carry such a certificate or test positive on arrival.
- Ghana. Passengers must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken no more than 72 hours before departure, and will be subject to a second test on arrival. If confirmed negative, quarantine is not needed.
- Guinea-Bissau. Arrivals must have a medical certificate with a negative COVID-19 PCR test result issued at most 72 hours before departure.
- Mali. To enter Mali, you must carry a medical certificate with a negative Coronavirus (COVID-19) PCR test result issued not more than 7 days before arrival. A completed health declaration form must be presented upon arrival.
- Mozambique. Visitors are required to present a negative COVID-19 test result taken no more than 72 hours before departure.
- Namibia. Passengers must have a negative COVID-19 antigen or PCR test taken at most 7 days before departure from the first embarkation point. Passengers must present a completed epidemiological questionnaire upon arrival.
- Senegal. Travelers will have to provide a negative COVID-19 test from the country of departure, taken not more than 5 days before departure. All travelers to Senegal must fill out a passenger locator form before entry.
- South Africa. Passengers older than 5 years entering South Africa must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test result issued at most 72 hours before departure from the first embarkation point. A completed “Traveller Health Questionnaire” must be submitted not more than 2 days before departure.
- Zambia. Visitors to Zambia must have proof that they have tested negative for COVID-19 in the 7 days before their arrival. Quarantine and a second test on arrival is required only if you exhibit symptoms of COVID-19.
- Rwanda. All arrivals must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 120 hours of departure. It is mandatory to quarantine at a designated hotel for 24 hours whilst awaiting the results of a second COVID-19 test conducted on arrival.
- Mauritania. You must take a PCR test dated within 3 days before arrival and show evidence of the negative test result. You will then quarantine at your own expense in a hotel or your place of residence for 10 days. You must then take a PCR test in Mauritania, and if this is negative, you can exit quarantine.
No quarantine required
- Afghanistan. Travellers above 8 years of age must have a printed medical certificate with a negative Coronavirus (COVID-19) PCR test result, taken at most 72 hours before departure. Quarantine is required only if you have a high temperature.
- Armenia. Travellers are asked to present the results of a PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival or take to a PCR test at the airport.
- Kyrgyzstan. Passengers aged 8 and above must have a printed medical certificate with a negative Coronavirus (COVID-19) PCR test result, taken at most 72 hours before departure of the first embarkation point. You may be asked to do a second test upon arrival.
- The Maldives. Travellers have to carry a negative RT-PCR test, and also submit a health declaration form on the Maldives immigration portal 24 hours before departure from their home country.
- Sri Lanka. Only fully vaccinated Indians can enter Sri Lanka. You should have negative PCR test done within 72 hours prior to arrival.
On arrival PCR test is performed at your Level 1 ‘Safe & Secure Certified’ hotel and upon a negative on arrival PCR test report, travellers can leave the bio-bubble. The travellers are required to continue the rest of their stay at 3 star or above category hotels.
No quarantine required
- Albania. Except for screening measures in the presence of medical personnel, there are no testing requirements.
- Bosnia and Herzegovina. Passengers must have a medical certificate with a negative Coronavirus PCR test result issued at most 48 hours before arrival.
- France. India has been removed from France’s Red List and if you are vaccinated, you can travel to France with no restrictions linked to health conditions. Unvaccinated traveller aged 12 and over must 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 must pledge to self-isolate for 7 days.
- Germany. Indian travellers, who have been administered with both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine or who can show proof of recovering from the virus, will not be required to isolate themselves on their arrival in Germany.
- Iceland. Travellers who have been fully vaccinated or have recovered from the virus can enter Iceland. A vaccination certificate/proof of a previous infection is a must. There are no testing or quarantine requirements.
- Kosovo. Travellers must have a negative RT-PCR test certificate for COVID-19 done in the last 72 hours. Quarantine is mandated only if you don’t carry the certificate.
- Russia. Passengers entering the Federation must have a printed negative COVID-19 PCR test result issued at most 72 hours before arrival.
- Serbia. Passengers must have a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test result issued at most 48 hours before arrival. Quarantine is mandated only if you don’t carry the result.
- Switzerland. Travellers who have been fully vaccinated or have recovered from the virus can enter Iceland. A vaccination certificate/proof of a previous infection is a must. There are no testing or quarantine requirements.
EU Green Pass:
After the initial uproar over Covishield being left out of the list of vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency, the jab manufactured by the Serum Institute of India is now accepted by 16 European countries as a part of the “green pass” scheme. These 16 countries are:
- The Netherlands
Indian travellers, who have been administered with both doses of COVID-19 vaccine Covishield will not be required to isolate themselves on their arrival in the above given countries. Travellers may require to produce a negative RT-PCR report with the test conducted within 72 hours before boarding their flight and have to undergo a compulsory Covid test on arrival.
- Montenegro. Passengers must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test result issued at most 72 hours before departure from the first embarkation point. This doesn’t apply to passengers with a COVID-19 vaccination certificate if they have received the second dose at least 7 days before arrival and those with a positive serological -IgG antibodies test result issued at most 30 days before arrival.
- Turkey. Indian passengers must submit a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival and undergo quarantine for 14 days in locations determined by the Governorships.
- United Kingdom. Passengers must take a COVID-19 test at least three days prior to departure. The second is to be taken on the day of arrival or before the second day of stay. The third must be taken on or after the eighth day of stay in the UK, according to the official foreign travel advice. 10 day quarantine at home or place of stay is to be adhered to.
Note that in most European countries, non-essential travel is possible only for residents and citizens of EU/Schengen countries, and their family and partners. If you fit into these criteria, please check the country’s travel advisory.
- Bahrain. Passengers must have a negative COVID-19 PCR or RT-PCR test taken at most 48 hours before departure. They will also have to take a second test on arrival, except if they have recovery certificate. Quarantine is required till test results are delivered.
- Qatar. Passengers must have a negative COVID-19 PCR or RT-PCR test taken at most 48 hours before departure. They must undergo 10 days quarantine in a dedicated quarantine facility, or 14 days if quarantine is at Mekhaines facility regardless of prior vaccination or immunity against COVID-19.
- Oman. All travellers are required to submit of pre-travel negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours before flight. Additionally, travellers will be subjected to on arrival test that needs to be pre-booked through the Sahala platform. After taking the test upon arrival, they must immediately quarantine for 7 days, and wear Tarrasud+ bracelet.
- United Arab Emirates. Indian travellers who have received both doses of a WHO-approved vaccine can fly to the emirates. They must have received the second vaccine dose at least 14 days before travel. Eligible passengers who are UAE Residents and any fully vaccinated passenger wishing to travel to Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah need to receive approval from the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA). If you reside in Dubai, you’ll need pre-entry approval from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA).