International destinations opening for Indian travellers? Here’s all you need to know

As international travel picks up pace, we bring to you the list of all destinations that have reopened their doors for Indian travellers.

With the world slowly but steadily moving towards winning against the novel coronavirus through vaccination, and various countries easing up on travel restrictions, the tourism industry is finally getting back on its feet.

The numbers are looking good when it comes to India, as well. As per a study conducted by Thomas Cook (India), the country’s leading integrated travel services company, the overall demand for travel among Indian travellers is back to 65 per cent of pre-pandemic levels: with domestic travel at an impressive 290 per cent growth and international travel at 55 per cent (acquisition data September 2021 vs September 2019). While Kashmir, Leh-Ladakh, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, North East, and Andamans are among the top domestic destinations, when it comes to international travel destinations, Maldives, Turkey, Europe, and Egypt are leading. Expo 2020 Dubai is also seeing a brisk demand currently.

Govt. allows domestic airlines to operate at 100 per cent capacity

International, travel
Expo Dubai 2020 is a big draw for tourists from India. Image: Shutterstock/ Creative Family.

Romil Pant, Senior Vice President, Leisure Travel, Thomas Cook (India) Limited, said, “Delhi continues to be one of our best-performing markets and contributes significantly to our Holidays business – both international and domestic. This year we have seen high demand for travel within India. Outdoor adventures and mountain locations are preferred, while our bike trips are also doing exceptionally well.”

read more: The gates to history and adventure reopen

Now that international travel is finding its pace, many countries are now reopening (or have already reopened) for fully-vaccinated Indian visitors. Planning to fly overseas for your next vacation then? Here are the countries you can plan a visit to, international travel from India

The Americas  

United States

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NYC is waiting for you! Image: Shutterstock/cla78.

After a long 18-month travel ban, the United States is all set to open its borders to fully-vaccinated tourists from 33 countries, including India. While the US government is yet to announce its list of accepted vaccines, the entry of fully-vaccinated travellers from these countries can resume from November 8. Visitors will be required to carry a negative COVID PCR report taken no more than three days before the date of departure and are exempted from mandatory quarantine.

read more: American Airlines and IndiGo announce codeshare agreement

Canada

International, travel
Jasper National Park in Canada. Image: Shutterstock/Weekend Warrior Photos.

The ban on commercial passenger flights from India to Canada was lifted earlier in September after a four-month gap. The frequency of flights from Delhi to Toronto has been increased, and flights between Delhi and Montreal have also resumed. Indian travellers must carry a negative RT-PCR report done 18 hours before the boarding time. Canada has removed its global travel advisory on all non-essential travel outside the country. The Canadian government has also announced the launch of vaccine passports to facilitate international travel during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Asia

Thailand

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We can’t wait to visit the famous floating markets of Thailand! Image: Shutterstock/Avigator Fortuner.

Starting November 1, fully-vaccinated travellers from 46 countries and territories will be allowed to enter Thailand, but India doesn’t cut its ‘quarantine-free’ list yet. It had announced the ‘Phuket sandbox‘ programme for vaccinated Indian travellers in September, wherein they are required to quarantine themselves for seven nights upon arrival in Phuket in an accredited hotel before travelling to other provinces.

read more: Phuket gets its most exclusive Omakase restaurant with Tree House

Nepal

Fully vaccinated Indians are free to explore Nepal without spending any time in quarantine. Travellers can also enter Nepal from India via road and get a visa-on-arrival, but are required to fill an online departure form.

Singapore

International, travel
Time to visit the Marina Bay! Image: Shutterstock/Boule.

Singapore Airlines (SIA) has launched the Singapore Showcase.

Singapore is the latest country to announce the removal of the travel ban on India and five other South Asian countries. Lifting the restriction on October 26, the island-state announced that all travellers with a 14-day travel history to India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka are now allowed to enter or transit through Singapore. However, the Singapore government has said that travellers from these countries will have to go through its Category IV border measures. The eligible travellers will have to undertake an RT-PCR test not more than 48 hours ahead of departure, go through another test upon arrival in Singapore, and stay at a dedicated quarantine facility for 10 days.

read more: Restored vintage Vespas swing into action in Singapore

Indonesia

After a long wait, Indonesia has begun offering limited valid visas to fully-vaccinated travellers from 19 low-risk countries, including India. Visitors can enter Bali and the Riau Islands and must carry vaccination certificates, negative PCR test results taken no longer than 72 hours before departure, and proof of health insurance covering expenses for COVID-19. Upon arrival, they’d need to stay in an eight-day quarantine and be required to fill out the Electronic Health Alert Card (E-HAC) inside the PeduliLindungi contact-tracing application.

Maldives

International, travel
Live the Maldivian island life this season. Image: Shutterstock/icemanphotos.

If there’s one foreign destination that Indian travellers have been flocking to satiate their wanderlust, it is the Maldives, which had opened its doors for fully-vaccinated travellers in July 2021. There are no restrictions, you just need to carry a negative PCR test result and can get a visa-on-arrival. The island nation’s travel receipts rose by 104.5 per cent, thanks to a ‘strong rebound’ in tourist arrivals from India and Russia, as per the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Everything you need to know about international destination Maldives, how and where to go.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan borders are now completely open for vaccinated travellers from all countries, including India. Sri Lanka had removed the on arrival PCR tests required for the fully vaccinated, and the national airlines had even run a ‘Buy One, Get One Free Ticket’ campaign for Indian travellers.

read more: Steeped in tea heritage – Thotalagala, Sri Lanka

Europe

Italy

International, travel
All roads lead to Rome. Image: Shutterstock/ prochasson frederic.

Earlier in September, Italy had recognised Serum Institute of India’s Covishield as an eligible vaccine for its Green Pass and hence, allowed Indian travellers with double dose of the jab to enter the country.

read more: A love letter to Italy

Russia

Both vaccinated and unvaccinated Indian passengers can enter the Federation with a printed negative COVID-19 PCR test result issued at most 72 hours before arrival, an invitation from a government-mandated tourist agency, and a 30-day tourist visa.

United Kingdom

The UK has recently dropped the 10-day quarantine rule for Indian travellers fully vaccinated with Covishield and other approved vaccines. Earlier, the European country had refused to recognise vaccination certificates from India, which the Ministry of External Affairs had deemed as ‘discriminatory’ and in a counter-measure, had imposed similar travel restrictions on UK passport holders.

Germany

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The Neuschwanstein Medieval Castle in Germany looks surreal amid snow-clad peaks. Image: Shutterstock/ Feel good studio.

The German government has lifted all travel restrictions from Indian travellers who have received both doses of vaccination at least 14 days before entering the country. They must present proof of vaccination, or a negative test result, or proof of recovery from COVID-19 upon arrival. Children below 12 are exempted from these requirements.

Spain

Fully vaccinated visitors from India and children below 12 years of age can now travel to Spain. However, they must possess a Schengen visa or apply for a Spanish visa through the online visa application centre.

Switzerland

International, travel
Swiss Alps are calling! Image: Shutterstock/Boris Stroujko.

Pack your bags…Switzerland is calling

In August this year, Switzerland had announced that Indian travellers are no longer be subject to the testing and self-isolation requirements, as long as they fill an entry form and present a vaccination certificate, a negative COVID-19 test result, or medical proof that indicates that the holder has recovered from the disease.

France

There are no restrictions on entry to mainland France for fully vaccinated travellers and can apply for a C-type visa. They need to show proof of vaccination and a sworn statement attesting to the absence of COVID-19 infection symptoms and any contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case. 

Middle East

Turkey

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Cappadocia calling! Image: Shutterstock/Alla Laurent.

Fully vaccinated travellers of age 12 years or older from India, are no longer required to quarantine themselves upon arrival. They will need to carry a negative RT-PCR test taken up to 72 hours before departure, while non-vaccinated with a negative result are subjected to the mandatory 14-day quarantine.

United Arab Emirates

Ahead of the ongoing Expo Dubai 2020, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has relaxed travel guidelines and COVID protocols for travellers from India. Passengers on tourist visa must carry a COVID negative test result and again take a rapid PCR test upon arrival.

read more: Where to find the best views of the Palm Jumeirah in Dubai

Africa

International, travel
Who’s ready for an African safari? Image: Shutterstock/Volodymyr Burdiak.

Kenya lifted the ban on flights from India after a brief period of suspension since May this year. All arriving international travellers, including India, need to present a negative PCR test certificate taken at the most 72 hours prior to arrival in Egypt.

Others International Travel

Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guyana, Guatemala, Mexico and The Dominican Republic are among other American destinations with certain precautions and protocols in place, that Indian travellers can travel to. In Asia, Vietnam plans to reopen key tourist destinations to vaccinated visitors from countries deemed a low COVID-19 risk from December. Serbia and Iceland in Europe are open with some restrictions too. You can visit Bahrain, Qatar and Oman by following some protocols when in the UAE. In Africa, many more destinations like Zambia, Mali, Ethiopia, Ghana and Mozambique are now open with few restrictions.

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