- From Switzerland to South Africa and Kyrgyzstan to Mexico, countries worldwide are ready to welcome Indian travellers again. Some countries are accepting vaccinated tourists others are just accepting RT-PCR tests report.
- Eight European Union countries (Austria, Germany, Greece, Slovenia, Ireland, Spain, Estonia and Netherlands) and two non-member states, Iceland and Switzerland, have confirmed that they will permit Indians inoculated with Covishield to travel to their countries.
- In this post find out all the information you should have before planning international travel. Learn about travel restrictions by each country, COVID-19 testing requirements, quarantine requirements and their visa details.
Before the second wave, India established the Air Bubble pact with 27 countries, while flights were operational to many other countries. These included sought-after holiday destinations such as the United Kingdom, Europe, United States, Canada, United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Thailand, and Sri Lanka. But as India battled the massive tsunami of coronavirus cases during the second wave of COVID-19, almost all countries put a travel ban on flights originating from India.
With cases dropping steadily in India after the brutal surge in April-May and India vaccinating more of its population daily, the idea of International travel is yet again looking possible for Indians. While some countries are allowing fully vaccinated Indian travellers, others have relaxed the travel restrictions.
Vaccinated Indian travellers have started dreaming about future vacations overseas. Still, it’s essential to plan for a safe and hassle-free experience. To enable you with the correct information, here is a list of all the countries that are open to Indian tourists currently.
As per Kayak, this is the current status for International Travel Restrictions for Indian Travellers
- 5 countries are open: Borders are open – there are no restrictions or requirements for most visitors at this time.
- 107 countries are open with restrictions – visitors who are fully vaccinated, and/or can provide a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test result, and/or will quarantine upon arrival.
- 108 countries are closed – Borders are closed – only citizens, residents returning home or people in other special circumstances may enter.
Eight European Union countries (Austria, Germany, Greece, Slovenia, Ireland, Spain, Estonia and Netherlands) and two non-member states, Iceland and Switzerland, have confirmed that they will permit Indians inoculated with Covishield to travel to their countries. Estonia has recognised all the vaccines authorised by the Indian government, including Covaxin, that local firm Bharat Biotech has developed.
Please note that India is still on the RED LIST of most European countries because of which Indian Travellers aren’t permitted to travel freely in Europe. Only the ones having long-stay visas are allowed to enter the European countries. They require an authorisation letter from your employer or embassy to establish the legitimacy and urgency of your travel. As a result, hardly any European Embassy in India is giving tourist visas to Indians as of date. So even if you are fully vaccinated and have a long stay tourist/business visa please do check with the respective embassy and flight carrier before booking your tickets.
Find up to date and detailed information about travel restrictions in place for every country in Europe, here.
Here are the travel guidelines in brief for each country.
Switzerland was the first European country to open its doors for fully vaccinated visitors from post-second Covid wave India. Moreover, Indian travellers who have got both jabs of Covishield don’t need to quarantine on arrival.
Travel Guidelines: Travellers who have been vaccinated or recovered from covid19 will be allowed to enter Switzerland without having to be tested or quarantined. Others have to present a negative PCR test or rapid antigen test and go into quarantine on entry.
For details about Switzerland visas for Indians, click here.
Germany has lifted its ban on travellers from five countries hit by the Delta variant of COVID-19, including India, Nepal, Russia, Portugal, and the United Kingdom. On July 7, these five countries were reclassified as “high-incidence areas” instead of the “virus variant country” category.
Travel Guidelines: Earlier only the citizens and residents of Germany were permitted to enter from India and they too had to undergo a two-week quarantine, regardless of whether they were fully vaccinated or were carrying a negative Covid-19 test. By contrast, now anyone from a high-incidence country can enter Germany as long as they provide a negative Covid test on arrival. They must in principle enter a 10-day quarantine but can end it after five days with another negative test. And, if Travellers from high-incidence areas are fully vaccinated then they are exempted from quarantine.
For details about German visas for Indians, click here.
One of the most popular tourist destinations globally, Spain reopened its border to all vaccinated tourists globally on June 7.
Travel Guidelines: Fully vaccinated individuals with a WHO or EMEA-approved vaccine are allowed to enter Spain. This means only travellers who have received Covishield will be eligible to apply for visas currently. In addition to vaccination proof, travellers will also have to take RT-PCR tests before departure.
For details about Spain visas for Indians, click here.
Russia is among the few countries allowing Indians to travel on tourist visas. Still, they have to go through a tedious process. Firstly, to enter Russia, one has to have an invitation from a government-mandated tourist agency and providing mere hotel reservations doesn’t suffice. Also, the so-called ‘vaccine holidays’ are turning out to be false because Russian authorities have confirmed that the country isn’t inoculating tourists.
Travel Guidelines: One has to produce an RT-PCR test within 72 hours before arrival and an on-spot test at arrival. If the test result comes negative, you can enter Russia. If positive, you will be transferred to a COVID treatment facility. Most travellers, vaccinated or unvaccinated, are not expected to live in quarantine, except for those who opt for an on-arrival test. They are required to wait for the results at a designated location for 24 or 48 hours. Also, since there are very few flights from India to Russia, the flight tickets are at least 2.5 times higher than regular airfare.
For details about Russian visas for Indians, click here.
Another popular destination for international travellers could be Serbia.
Travel Guidelines: The country allows travellers from all nations with a negative RT-PCR test 48-hours before taking the flight. In the absence of an RT-PCR test, one has to undergo a 10-day self-quarantine. Unlike most countries, Serbia accepts one dose of Covishield (Oxford-AstraZeneca) as proof of vaccination for travellers.
Lufthansa and KLM Royal Dutch operate only limited flights from India to Belgrade, Serbia. The prices are not exponentially high as compared to Russia.
For details about Serbia visas for Indians, click here. Indians are eligible for visa-on-arrival in Belgrade, making travel far more effortless.
Ukraine is yet another European country that has opened its borders to Indian tourists.
Travel Guidelines: Travellers visiting the nation will have to furnish a negative RT-PCR test, as well as a negative Antigen test. Moreover, they must have received both doses of a WHO-approved vaccine and should, without fail, carry a vaccination certificate of the same. Also, they might be subject to rapid-antigen tests across all state borders and check-posts in the country.
For details about Ukraine visas for Indians, click here.
All travellers’ regardless of their origin’ can now visit Iceland. The only requirement is that they have to be fully vaccinated with the approved vaccinations by the EU, including Covishield by AstraZeneca.
Travel Guidelines: Travellers will have to present a valid vaccination certificate and a negative PCR test upon arrival. They will be exempted from quarantine if the test comes negative.
Pure Luxe by KFT provides private charters and land packages since India doesn’t have an Air Bubble pact with Iceland.
For details about Iceland visas for Indians, click here.
While the UK has not lifted the ban on Indian travellers, you can still visit the nation if you have stayed in Iceland for more than ten days. In other words, it means that if you have to enter the UK on a Tourist Visa, you need to fly to Iceland first, stay there for 10-days and then you can enter the UK border.
For details about the United Kingdom visa for Indians, click here.
The land of kimchi, K-pop, K-dramas, Samsung, LG, Hyundai, the 12-step skincare routine, and of course, Gangnam Style is now open for Indian travellers.
Travel Guidelines: South Korea has lifted the travel ban on Indian Travellers and done away with the mandatory 14-day quarantine for those vaccinated with both the doses of Covishield vaccine. However, those vaccinated with Covaxin, which is yet to be approved by the World Health Organization, will have to remain in quarantine.
For details about South Korean visas for Indians, click here.
Sri Lanka is the only Indian subcontinent country that is open for Indian travellers currently.
Travel Guidelines: While Indian travellers can enter Sri Lanka, a 14-day quarantine is mandatory at hotels termed ‘Safe and Secure’. Also, they will be tested on the first, 11th and 14th day of their visit, regardless of them being vaccinated or not. Once they finish the mandatory quarantine, they can leave the hotel premises and explore the country.
For details about Sri Lanka visas for Indians, click here.
As per the official reports, the Maldives welcomed over 400,000 tourists since the beginning of January 2021. Russian travellers topped the chart, followed by Indians. However, Maldives put a ban on Indian Travellers when the second wave hit India. But now the Maldives has again opened its doors for Indian travellers resuming its visa-on-arrival for Indian travellers starting July 15
Travel Guidelines: As per a tweet from the Maldives tourism ministry, international passengers must carry a negative RT-PCR test. Travellers must take the COVID test within 96 hours from the scheduled time of departure. Also, they’ll need to fill in the health declaration form on the Maldives immigration portal 24 hours prior to the departure. There won’t be any mandatory quarantine or test on arrival. However, if someone shows COVID-19 symptoms, they will have to undergo a PCR test.
For details about Maldives visas for Indians, click here.
After staying closed for tourists for a long time, Mauritius is opening to welcome all vaccinated guests from July 15 onwards.
Travel Guidelines: However, international travellers still need to show a negative RT-PCR test report. Upon arrival in Mauritius, they will also need to undergo a Covid test followed by 14 days mandatory quarantine at an establishment approved by the authorities. After a negative COVID test result on the 14th day, travellers are free to explore the island nation.
For details about Mauritius visas for Indians, click here.
Armenia has been open for international travellers for a while, but the once sought after travel destination became a quarantine hub for hundreds of Indians returning to the UAE when the UAE suspended flights to India. While the restrictions are still in place, Indian tourists can plan a future trip to the country rich in cultural heritage and delicious food.
Travel Guidelines: Indian travellers entering Armenia need to either provide a negative RT-PCR test from a maximum of 72 hours before departure or provide a vaccination certificate.
For details about Armenia visas for Indians, click here.
The central Asian country is home to some of the Silk Road’s most iconic sights, including the three great Silk Road cities of Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand. The country is now open for travellers, including Indian tourists.
Other Asian countries that are expected to allow Indians soon – United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Hong Kong and Taiwan
Travel Guidelines To visit Uzbekistan this year, you’ll need a negative RT-PCR test report not older than 72 hours before arrival, followed by 14 days of mandatory quarantine.
For details about Uzbekistan visas for Indians, click here.
Kyrgyzstan, a Central Asian country boasting of grand architecture, heritage sites and cultural lessons, is now open for Indian travellers.
Travel Guidelines: Travellers who are not vaccinated will need to carry a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours before boarding a flight to Kyrgyzstan. Also, upon arrival, they will need to self-quarantine. Those who can give internationally recognised vaccination certificates are exempted from all forms of tests.
For details about Kyrgyzstan visas for Indians, click here.
Although Afghanistan is not considered a safe destination by most travellers, this landlocked nation is open to Indian tourists.
Travel Guidelines: Indians will need to produce a negative RT-PCR test report that should not be older than 72 hours before arrival in Afghanistan. However, it is advised that travellers avoid travelling to Kabul for the next few weeks, owing to the rise of COVID cases in the capital city.
For details about Afghanistan visas for Indians, click here.
A popular destination among Indian travellers, Turkey, is now allowing tourists.
Travel Guidelines: While travellers can plan a trip to Turkey, they’ll have to undergo mandatory 14-day institutional quarantine. Travellers must take an RT-PCR test on the fourteenth day. Only on testing negative will they be allowed to leave the quarantine facility. Another demotivating factor is the ticket prices – at least twice higher than regular airfare and flights operated by carriers such as Air India, Emirates and KLM Royal Dutch.
For details about Turkey visas for Indians, click here.
South Africa hasn’t imposed any travel restrictions on Indian tourists since the beginning of the pandemic. Still, flight options remain limited, as do ports of entry.
Travel Guidelines: All you need to visit this destination is an RT-PCR test report, which should not be older than 72 hours before taking the flight. As per the reports, if those arriving in South Africa fail to present their negative PCR test as the certificate of proof, they will need to self-quarantine at their own expense.
For details about South Africa visas for Indians, click here.
Egypt, the land of Pyramids, has opened its borders to Indian travellers.
Travel Guidelines: Like other countries, travellers have to furnish a negative RT-PCR test for a maximum of 72 hours before flying to Egypt. Also, they’ll have to undergo a rapid DNA test on arrival. If the test result comes positive, either they’ll be quarantined for 15 days or be sent back to their point of departure.
For details about Egypt visas for Indians, click here.
Indian travellers with valid visas can now visit the African nations with limited restrictions in place.
Travel Guidelines: If not vaccinated, Indian travellers will need to carry a negative RT-PCR test taken no less than five days before the date of departure and will be required to self-isolate for seven days.
For details about Ethiopia visas for Indians, click here.
While Rwanda has opened to tourism, it has placed stringent COVID-19 measures for all international tourists.
Travel Guidelines: Like most countries, travellers visiting Rwanda have to present a negative RT-PCR test taken at least 72 hours before taking the flight. Upon arrival, they’ll need to take a PCR test costing $60 and must quarantine for 24 hours at a designated hotel. A rapid antigen test is required to visit most tourist places in Rwanda. Moreover, some tourist places such as the famous volcanos and national parks require a negative RT-PCR test (72-hour period) for admission.
For details about Rwanda visas for Indians, click here.
The first country in North America post-COVID19 second wave to allow Indian tourists without too many travel restrictions.
Travel Guidelines: The country does not require any vaccine or pre-flight testing. While the Mexican Embassy is currently not issuing tourist visas, those with valid US, UK, Schengen, or Japanese visas and permanent residents can enter visa-free.
Currently, Emirates, Qatar Airways, Air France, Lufthansa, and United serve several locations in Mexico with one-stop.
After keeping its borders closed for Indian tourists for a while, Canada has also brought in a slew of travel relaxations and has exempted fully vaccinated people from mandatory quarantine from July 5th onwards. The move is aimed at facilitating international students, relatives of permanent residents, and temporary workers with valid work permits. Here are the details you must know before booking your tickets:
Travel Guidelines: All travellers have to mandatorily provide a negative Covid-19 test report taken within 72 hours before their entry to Canada. Those entering the country must be vaccinated with both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine. At the moment, the Canadian government accepts Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca/Covishield, and Johnson and Johnson vaccines. People who have taken the Bharat Biotech vaccine or Russian-made Sputnik will have to undergo mandatory quarantine upon entering Canada. Those who are travelling without taking the approved vaccine jabs will have to quarantine at a hotel for three days, take a second test on the eighth day of their arrival, and complete 14-days in self-isolation, as per the reports. Travellers must upload their proof of vaccination in the ArriveCAN portal. One important thing to note is that direct flights from India will remain prohibited till July 21 until further notice.
For details about Canada visas for Indians, click here.
Indians can now travel to Costa Rica.
Travel Guidelines: Travellers neither need a vaccination certificate nor an RT-PCR test report. However, travellers will have to fill out a health pass form upon arrival at the rainforested Central American country.
For details about Costa Rica visa for Indians, click here.
Disclaimer: The travel guidelines and restrictions mentioned for each country are as of July 2, 2021. These might change, as per the rules and regulations of each country, depending on the coronavirus situation in India. Before planning your trip please do check with the respective embassy and flight carrier.
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