Amid the rising cases of the second wave of COVID-19, countries have banned flights from one part of the globe to another. Many countries have banned flights from India as it was and is a COVID-19 hotspot. Recently, during the Indian Premier League, many Australian players left India as they feared the risk of infecting themselves and their families.
So, this flight ban is okay when you have a rising amount of cases, but if a person from India has to travel in an emergency, then he/she can face multiple problems in doing so.
It is now mandatory to carry a COVID-19 negative report of 96 hours before boarding the flight. Previously, it was 72 hours. However, during time-bound situations, RT-PCR testing is also difficult to get done as it takes around 4-5 days to get the report. In recent news, it has come out that Canada has extended its flight ban on international flights to and fro India.
The Canadian Government has issued the following guidelines when coming from and going abroad:
(sourced from the official website travel.gc.ca)
1. The Government of Canada has first banned flights from India and Pakistan, with effect from 22nd April 2021. Direct flights from Canada to India and Pakistan will continue to be banned until at least June 21.
2. People from India or Pakistan entering Canada via an indirect route will have to carry a negative COVID-19 pre-departure test from a third country before continuing their journey to Canada.
3. It will be required to get COVID-19 testing upon arrival in Canada and a stay of up to 3 nights at a government-authorized accommodation.
4. Air travellers of 5 years or older are required to provide proof of COVID-19 molecular test taken no more than 72 hours before the aircraft’s initial scheduled departure time.
5. Air and land travellers who have previously tested positive for COVID-19 must provide proof of a positive COVID-19 molecular test conducted between 14 and 90 days prior to departure, instead of a negative COVID-19 test.
6. Canadians who must travel abroad should consider how they are going to meet these requirements before departure, and make plans for the possibility of needing to extend their stay. Even those travellers who are carrying a negative COVID-19 report must complete a 14-day quarantine after entering Canada.
Apart from Canada, several countries have banned their flights to and from India. Some of these countries are Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brunei, Cambodia, Czechia, Djibouti, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Malaysia, Malawi, Maldives, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Philipines, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States.
Some of these countries have a temporary ban and are allowing a small number of flights from India. But, some like Australia, have imposed a strict ban on Indian flights. The guidelines are also different for different countries.
It is thus, important to follow proper care and guidelines when travelling to and from India to other countries. We must ensure that we are absolutely healthy and are not spreading the virus among fellow passengers.