Note: This story was originally published on April 22, 2021 and is being updated with new information as it comes in.
New Delhi: With the unprecedented rise in India’s COVID-19 numbers, a number of countries have banned travel to and from India or have curtailed it in some form or the other.
The following is a list of countries that have issued orders on travel from India. This list will be updated as more news comes in.
The UK has included India in its “red list” which imposes a ban on entry to the country for all except British or Irish residents. India will be included in the list from 4 am local time on Friday.
The ban means that those with valid residency rights returning to the UK after the deadline on Friday face the additional financial burden of compulsory hotel quarantine and tests costs, estimated at around 2,000 pounds per person.
Britain’s Heathrow Airport has refused to allow extra flights from India in the meantime, citing concerns about queues at passport control, the BBC reported on Thursday.
Four carriers had requested to operate an additional eight flights from India as travellers seek to fly before the new rule comes into effect. Currently, 30 flights a week are operating between the UK and India.
India’s addition to the travel “red list” was announced in the House of Commons on Monday, April 19, amid 103 cases recorded in the UK of a new variant of coronavirus first detected in India.
The US has not banned travel to and from India but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued an advisory noting that even people fully vaccinated run the risk of contracting and spreading the disease in India.
“We are tracking the course of the COVID outbreak in India very closely,” State Department Spokesperson Ned Price told reporters at his daily news conference.
Responding to a question, he said, Secretary of State Tony Blinken and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar discussed the issue during a phone call on Monday, April 19.
“Whether it’s India or any other country, we are committed to doing what we can both at present and going forward to see to it that this virus is brought under control,” he said.
The Canadian government’s ban took effect on the night of April 22, barring all passenger flights from India and Pakistan for 30 days due to the unprecedented spike in COVID-19 cases in South Asia.
According to news agency PTI, the 30-day ban is the longest period that Canada has put on any individual country.
However, cargo flights have not been banned and Ottawa is still hoping that India, which has restricted vaccine exports, will send the bulk of 1.5 million AstraZeneca doses that Canada had purchased through the Serum Institute of India.
France will impose new entry restrictions on travellers from India, the Associated Press reported on Wednesday, April 21. For now, it has enforced a 10-day quarantine rule for travellers arriving from India.
On April 27, Australia suspended all direct passenger flights from India with immediate effect until May 15 due to the “very significant” spike in COVID-19 cases.
The country’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison, announcing the temporary border closure with India, also launched an immediate support package for the country in its fight against the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
Addressing a press briefing after convening a Cabinet’s national security committee meeting, he said that the ban on arrivals from India would be reviewed before May 15.
”Today we agreed, in addition to the measures that I announced after the last National Cabinet meeting, to pause direct passenger flights between India and Australia until May 15,” he said.
We recognise that this has been a very significant outbreak in India, Morrison said.
The latest move would affect direct flights into Sydney and two repatriation flights scheduled to arrive in Darwin. The move could also affect thousands of people, including Australian cricketers currently playing in the Indian Premier League in India.
All indirect flights coming from India via Singapore, Doha, Dubai and Kuala Lumpur have also been paused by their respective governments.
The UAE has banned travel from India for 10 days, starting from Sunday [April 25]. It will be subject to review once the 10 days are completed.
Passengers who have transited through India in the last 14 days will also not be permitted to board from any other point to the UAE.
However, departure flights will continue to operate and the ban will not extend to UAE citizens, diplomatic passport holders and official delegations.
Singapore on Tuesday, April 20, announced that travellers from India will have to serve an additional seven days Stay-at-Home Notice apart from the usual mandatory 14 days quarantine at a dedicated facility due to the steep rise in the coronavirus cases and the emergence of new virus strain in the country.
The announcement by the Ministry of Health came as the entry approvals for non-Singapore citizens and non-permanent residents are being reduced with immediate effect.
From 11.59 pm on Thursday, all travellers from India will also have to serve an additional seven-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN) at their place of residence, following the usual 14-day SHN at a dedicated facility, a statement by the Singapore’s Ministry of Health was quoted as saying in a report of The Straits Times.
The Hong Kong government as early as Sunday, April 18, activated an “emergency circuit breaker,” according to India Today, and banned passenger flights from India for 14 days, starting April 20.
Israel issued a travel advisory on April 22 warning its citizens, including those who have recovered from COVID-19 or have been vaccinated against the viral infection, to refrain from travelling to India, Ukraine, Ethiopia, Brazil, South Africa, Mexico and Turkey.
The statement from the Israeli health ministry also noted the presence of “alarming” COVID-19 variants in the seven countries, and recommended that the public avoid all travel outside of Israel if possible.
The country’s health ministry’s director-general Chezy Levy said that unvaccinated foreign workers and students from India must quarantine in state-run quarantine hotels.
Oman has announced a complete ban on incoming travellers from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh from April 24 onwards. Travellers who have entered these countries in the last two weeks will not be allowed in either.
Pakistan has also imposed a ban on travellers from India for the next two weeks. The ban came into effect on Monday, April 19.
Iran’s civil aviation agency has banned all flights to and from India and Pakistan from Saturday, April 24, at midnight.
Mohammad Hassan Zibakhsh, spokesman for Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization noted there are no routine flights between Iran and India and flights are operated occasionally.
Kuwait directorate general of civil aviation on April 24 suspended all direct commercial flights coming from India.
All passengers arriving from India either directly or via another country will be banned from entering unless they have spent at least 14 days out of India, it said in a statement on Twitter.
No incoming foreigners who have been in India in the last 14 days will be issued visas by Indonesia. For Indonesians returning from India, a strict set of rules will have to be followed.
Thailand too, on April 25, banned all Indian arrivals. The Bangkok Post reported that the country has announced that it has “postponed the process of issuing certificates of entry for Indian citizens and foreigners arriving from India.” Only Thai returnees from India will be allowed back in.
From the night of April 25 onwards, only Germans who had been in India will be allowed to re-enter the country after following a strict round of procedures.
Italy too has barred foreigners who had been in India in the last 14 days from entering the country.
Maldives, which had emerged a tourist favourite amidst the pandemic, will also close itself to Indian tourists from April 27.
With effect from 27 April @HPA_mv suspends tourists travelling from #India to #Maldives from staying at tourist facilities in inhabited islands. We thank you for the support in our endeavour to make tourism safest possible with minimum inconvenience.
— Ministry of Tourism (@MoTmv) April 25, 2021
Bangladesh will close its land borders with India for the next 14 days, foreign minister A.K. Abdul Momen announced in Dhaka on April 25.
Passenger travel from India to Bangladesh via land will remain closed from Monday for 14 days, Momen told reporters. Air travel between India and Bangladesh has already been suspended since April 14 with the rise in infections.