Indians can travel abroad to these countries—some even without quarantine

Indian exhausted of being stuck at home would love to travel again. But where can they go? …

Multiple countries stopped travel from India or imposed expensive quarantines amid the country’s harsh second Covid wave in April.  Now as India’s Covid-19 numbers decline, homebound Indians suffering from cabin fever are dreaming of travel again and eyeing their passports. But where can they go?

Domestic travel has largely opened up with a few restrictions, and evidence of the pent-up desire to travel was evident in traffic jams leading up to India’s popular hill stations. But international travel is a complicated web of travel restrictions, visa requirements, and, often, expensive quarantine rules.

“We are seeing a slight increase in international travel search queries for July and August as travellers are optimistic they would be able to fly post the end of the international travel ban on India,” Manan Bajoria, AVP of growth and marketing at travel website ixigo, told Quartz India. “With Covid cases in the country seeing a downward trend and countries like Dubai easing travel restrictions, we expect interest in international travel to gradually pick up in the coming months.”

Delta variant a worry

But most travel destinations long popular with Indians still aren’t welcoming arrivals due to the prevalence of the highly transmissible Delta variant. Nearly all of the European Union, the UK, the US, and Asian destinations like Thailand and Singapore in Asia currently do not allow tourists from India. Canada has extended its travel ban for Indians now up till July 21, and will only allow Canadian citizens and residents to travel to the country in the meanwhile. Australia, too, has strictly suspended all travel from India. Travel may be permitted, but only under extenuating circumstances, and likely only for those who have residency in or are citizens of these countries.

Dubai’s Emirates airlines, for example, is set to resume flights from June 23, but it will only allow Indian travelers with residency visas and only those who are fully vaccinated with one of the approved vaccines (in India’s case, only those vaccinated with Sputnik V or Covishield). Even Thailand, which is going to experiment with a “Phuket Sandbox” of quarantine-free stays for vaccinated tourists from July 1, has not opened this provision up for Indians yet.

The only exception is a tiny handful of nations across the world which are allowing Indian travellers, provided they come with a negative RT-PCR test and quarantine for the requisite period of time. Some of these destinations may themselves be nearly impossible to navigate, given that not all the countries have direct flights from India, and others may not allow even transiting international passengers from the country.

This list is not exhaustive.

The island country of Mauritius could join this list. Starting July 15, it will allow travellers to fly to the country for a quarantine-cation. If they test negative for Covid-19 after 14 days, tourists will be free to roam the country. But whether this will apply to India remains to be seen.

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