COVID-19: Many countries put India on international travel ban list


Guwahati: With the sudden surge in COVID-19 cases in India, several countries across the world are putting India on their travel ban list. The US, Australia, Hong Kong, the UK, Pakistan and New Zealand have already released fresh travel advisories for their citizens, asking them to avoid travelling to/from India.

According to a report published in India Today, the Hong Kong government late Sunday activated an “emergency circuit breaker” and banned passenger flights from India for 14 days, starting April 20, raising concerns over the mutated coronavirus variant.

Hong Kong had banned flights from India in four different instances, starting from August. Other than India, the administration has also prohibited flights from Pakistan and the Philippines.

Pakistan on Monday imposed a ban on travellers from India for the next two weeks, citing the spread of a new variant of the novel coronavirus in the neighbouring country.

A day after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson postponed his visit to India, UK authorities issued a fresh advisory putting India on their ‘red list’ for travel on Monday.

From April 23 onwards, UK residents arriving from India will have to quarantine in a hotel for 11 nights. Others from India will not be able to travel to the UK at all.

A four-day grace period has also been accorded to those who need to travel back to the UK without having to quarantine in a hotel.

On April 20, the United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a travel advisory, asking all its citizens to avoid travels to India.

The US has put India in ‘Level 4’ category which says ‘Very High Level of Covid-19 in India’. “Travelers should avoid all travel to India,” the advisory said.

“Because of the current situation in India, even fully vaccinated travellers may be at risk for getting and spreading Covid-19 variants and should avoid all travel to India,” it further said.

New Zealand also imposed a ban on any travel from India after it detected 23 Covid-19 cases among passengers arriving from outside earlier this month.

According to reports, 17 of the 23 cases were found positive for the Indian variant of SARS-CoV-2, prompting authorities to put a ban on travel from India.

Most countries are monitoring Indian nationals travelling to their respective nations and in case, passengers test positive, advisories are issued.

Canada is a case in point where according to a report in the Toronto Sun, flights from India continue to be Canada’s top source of international passengers testing positive for Covid-19.

With the decisions of various countries, India’s air bubble arrangements with these countries could be affected in the period where travel is restricted or banned from India