New Delhi: Since countries across the world are lifting travel restrictions from India in a graded manner under air bubble arrangements, both Indian and foreign airlines are offering a number of options for people who want to travel to countries such as UK, US, Japan, France etc. “Transport Bubbles” or “Air Travel Arrangements” are temporary arrangements between two countries aimed at restarting commercial passenger services when regular international flights are suspended as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. They are reciprocal in nature, meaning airlines from both countries enjoy similar benefits. Who can come into India from foreign nations? Last week, the Centre decided to restore with immediate effect all existing visas, except electronic, tourist and medical categories, almost eight months after their suspension following the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent imposition of a nationwide lockdown. If the validity of such visas has expired, fresh visas of appropriate categories can be obtained from Indian mission or post concerned Foreign nationals intending to visit India for medical treatment can apply afresh for a medical visa, including for their medical attendants. Therefore, this decision will enable foreign nationals to come to India for various purposes such as business, conferences, employment, studies, research, medical purposes etc The government has also permitted all OCI and PIO card holders and all other foreign nationals intending to visit India for any purpose, except on a tourist visa, to enter by air or water routes through authorised airports and seaport immigration check posts. Airlines operating flights to/from India Air India United Air France Lufthansa Air Canada Emirates Etihad Virgin Atlantic Things you need to keep in mind while flying abroad Issuing a set of guidelines for international arrival, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has asked passengers to submit a self-declaration form on http://www.newdelhiairport.in at least 72 hours before the scheduled travel. Flyers also need to submit an undertaking on the portal that they will undergo mandatory quarantine for 14 days i.e. 7 days institutional quarantine at their own cost, followed by 7 days isolation at home with self-monitoring of health.
On the other hand, several countries have different isolation and testing norms. For example, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) told Air India Express to reject COVID-negative test reports of passengers from four Indian laboratories——Suryam Lab in Jaipur, Microhealth Lab in the cities of Kerala; P Bhasin Pathlabs and Noble Diagnostic Centre in Delhi.