As Cases Spike, Countries Restrict Travel from India | Updated

India is experiencing a significant second spike in COVID-19 infections. In response, several countries around the world are suspending, limiting, or advising against travel to and from India.

This list was originally published on April 22 and has been updated as governments evolve their restrictions.

Australia (Updated) | On April 27, the government announced a temporary pause on direct passenger flights from India to Australia for two weeks. From May 3, citizens and residents who have been in India will be banned from returning to Australia; those who disobey the rule will face fines up to 66,600 AUD and jail time up to 5 years. The government will review this plan on May 15, 2021. When flights restart, the government will prioritize the return of vulnerable Australia. It is estimated that there are approximately 9,000 Australian citizens in India who want to return.

Belgium (Updated) | From April 27, all passenger transport from India (and Brazil and South Africa), are prohibited. Transporation workers, diplomats, international organization personnel, and select essential workers may be exempted.  

Bulgaria (Updated) | From April 30, there is a temporary entry ban for travelers arriving from India (and Bangladesh, Brazil, and some African countries). Bulgarian national, permanent, and long-term residents and their family members may enter but will be quarantined for 10 days. Other exceptions may apply based on occupation or reason for traveling.

Canada | From April 22, all passenger flights from India and Pakistan are banned for 30 days.

France (Updated) | As of April 26, travelers from India (and Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and South Africa) could only enter France if they had pressing reasons to travel. Travelers 11 or over must provide a negative PCR test result, carried out less than 36 hours before boarding, or otherwise, a negative PCR test result carried out less than 72 hours before boarding and a negative antigen test carried out less than 24 hours before boarding. All travelers must provide proof of quarantine location (their home, or other appropriate accommodation) and, where necessary, access details for inspectors.

Germany (Updated) | From Monday, April 26, 2021, entry to Germany from India, even with a valid visa, is generally banned for passengers who have visited India during the last 10 days. Few exemptions apply for German Nationals and their accompanying close family members (spouse and children), residents of Germany, holding a valid residence permit (a visa is not sufficient), crews and essential workers in transportation, public health and medicine, humanitarian causes, diplomatic work and their immediate family, and international transit. The German embassies in India have closed the visa section until further notice. Applicants whose appointments have to be canceled will be contacted directly by the Embassy or VFS Global. New appointments cannot be booked at the moment. The Embassy will continue to provide emergency services for German citizens.

Hong Kong | From April 20, passenger flights from India are banned for 14 days.

Israel (Updated) | From May 3, the government is banning travel to seven countries due to fears of COVID-19 variants. Israelis cannot travel to India, Mexico, South Africa, Brazil, Ukraine, Ethiopia, or Turkey without government permission. All Israelis returning from those seven countries must isolate for 10 days and complete two PCR, or isolate for 14 days with one test on arrival.

Italy | From April 25, entry is suspended for travelers coming from or who have stayed in the previous 14 days in India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, with the exception of Italian citizens who have been registered in Italy since before April 29, 2021, and who do not show COVID-19 symptoms.

New Zealand (Updated) | From 11:59 PM NZST on Wednesday, April 28, 2021, only New Zealand citizens and their immediate family may travel to NZ from Brazil, India, Pakistan, and Papua New Guinea. Other travelers, including New Zealand residents, can enter only if they spend 14 days outside a very high-risk country before their arrival. Transit through a very high-risk country is excluded from the 14-day requirement. Permitted travelers must provide a negative RT-PCR (PCR) test result from an accredited laboratory completed within 72 hours of departure and complete a 14-day stay in managed isolation or quarantine.

Nigeria (Updated) | From May 2, non-Nigerian passengers who have traveled to India, Brazil, and Turkey within the past 14 days will not be allowed entry. The travel ban does not apply to people who have transited through India, Brazil, or Turkey. Citizens and permanent residents who were in those countries will have to complete a one week quarantine at a designated facility.

Oman | From April 24 onward, there is a complete ban on incoming travel from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.

Pakistan | On Monday, April 19, the government issued a two-week entry ban for air and land routes.

Singapore (Updated) | Effective April 23 at 11:59 PM, all long-term pass holders and short-term visitors who have traveled to India within the last 14 days will not be allowed to enter or transit through Singapore. This includes anyone who has received prior approval to enter the country.

Individuals with a travel history to India already in Singapore who have not completed their 14-day stay-home notice (SHN) by 11:59 PM on Thursday will have to complete an additional 7-day SHN at a dedicated facility instead of their place of residence.

From May 8, travelers from the United Kingdom, South Africa, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, will have to complete the full 21-day SHN at a dedicated facility. Travelers who have not completed their SHN before May 8 will have to remain in their current location.

Spain | From May 1, 2021, all travelers arriving from any Indian airport, with or without stopovers, will be required to undergo a mandatory quarantine for 10 days, or for the duration of their stay in Spain if this is less than ten days. This period may end earlier if on the 7th day the person undergoes RT-PCR or equivalent molecular-based test or antigen test and obtains a Negative result. It is also mandatory to register and fill the Health Control Form available on the Spanish Health Ministry website and carry a negative RT-PCR test report taken up to 72 hours before arrival.

Taiwan | From May 4, travelers arriving from India will be required to quarantine for 14 days at a designated government facility. After 14 days, travelers will be required to test for COVID-19 and then continue to monitor their health for 7 days.

Thailand (Updated) | From May 1, all COEs that have been issued to non-Thai nationals to enter into Thailand from India will be canceled. The issuance of COEs for non-Thai nationals to arrive in Thailand from India from May 1, 2021 onwards is suspended until further notice. When the suspension is lifted, travelers will need to apply for a new COE. However, for the visa, if it is still valid at the time of permission, it can still be used. Otherwise, a new visa application must also be filed prior to obtaining a new COE and entering Thailand.

The United Arab Emirates | From Sunday, April 25, travel from India is banned for 10 days, subject to review after the 10 days are completed. Additionally, passengers who have transitted through India in the past 14 days will not be permitted to board from any other port to the UAE.

The United Kingdom | The UK government added India to its “Red List” of countries. From Friday, April 23, most people who have traveled from India within the 10 days prior to arriving in the UK will not be allowed to enter. The exception to the entry ban applies to British or Irish passport holders and UK residents. These travelers will be permitted to enter but will be required to quarantine for 10 days in a government hotel. Read more >> 

The United States (Updated) |The United States would restrict travel from India beginning on Tuesday, May 4 at 12:01 am ET. This is in response to the high COVID-19 infection rate and evidence of virus variants across the country.

According to sources, the Biden administration will issue a 212(f) order to restrict entry into the US for foreign nationals who have been in India within the previous 14 days. American citizens, lawful permanent residents, humanitarian workers, and certain other people will be exempted from the policy. These travelers will still have to test negative before leaving India and test again after arrival to the US. If they are not vaccinated, they will be required to quarantine.

Erickson Immigration Group will continue to send updates as more news is available. If you have questions about anything we’re reporting above or case-specific questions, please contact your employer or EIG attorney.