India Extends Ban on Certain International Travel Through February 2022

Practice Areas

By: Jacqueline Valle and Deepika Singh

On January 19, 2022, India extended its suspension of certain commercial international flights arriving to and departing from the country due to the ongoing COVID-19 surge. The suspension will last through February 28, 2022 at 11:59 PM IST.

India suspended air travel on March 23, 2020, and has since amended and extended the policy multiple times in response to the pandemic. Previously the policy was set to expire on December 14, 2021.

The suspension will not apply to cargo flights, flights approved by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), or flights under air bubble agreements.

flight categories 

India has divided foreign countries into three main categories defined by capacity entitlements once operations return.

  1. At-risk and air bubble:
    • 75% of operations prior to COVID-19 for either India or the foreign carrier, or seven or more frequencies per week subject to availability under the bilateral agreement.
  2. At-risk without air bubble:
    • 50% of operations for either India or the foreign carrier, or 50% of bilateral capacity entitlements.
  3. Others:
    • Full capacity entitlements as described in bilateral air service agreements.

air bubble travel unaffected

The new policy change will not impact flights under air bubble agreements. Air bubbles are temporary bilateral agreements between India and another country that allow travel between the two countries under certain conditions.

Countries which currently have air bubble agreements with India include Afghanistan, Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Canada, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Iraq, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Tanzania, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, and Uzbekistan.

at-risk countries

Travel from at-risk countries is not suspended if the country also has an air bubble arrangement with India.

Travelers from at-risk countries must follow additional safety measures upon arrival to India, including pre-booking and taking an RT-PCR COVID-19 test at one of six ports of arrival (Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, and New Delhi).

Countries which have air bubble arrangements with India that are also labeled as at-risk include Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Kenya, Mauritius, Nigeria, Switzerland, Tanzania, and United Kingdom.

At-risk countries with suspended air travel include Botswana, Brazil, China, Ghana, Hong Kong, Israel, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Republic of the Congo, South Africa, Tunisia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

conclusion

Please contact your Chugh LLP, immigration professional for more information or questions regarding traveling to India.

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