India gradually eases travel rules

NEW DELHI, 29 October 2020: Despite the spike in Covid-19 infections, India is easing some restrictions that could trigger a limited recovery in international travel but not for tourism purposes.

Local media reports suggest that for the first time since last March, the government will resume the issue of visas excluding the basic tourist visa both the online and embassy versions.

However, easing some restrictions could encourage foreign residents, students, and business travellers to return to India. This week signals the first easing of visa restrictions as the country reinstates all visa categories baring tourism, medical and eVisas.

Business travellers, international students, employees can return to India, but they must reapply for a new visa. The government has also clarified that all quarantine requirements remain in place.

Travellers must undergo a 14-day quarantine (seven days in a hotel and seven days at home). A negative RT-PCR test in the 96 hours before boarding a flight is mandatory.

An aviation blog, Simply Flying, reported this week that international flights to India are limited. It claimed there were services from 18 countries under various travel channel arrangements. Most are repatriation flights.

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