The government has suspended scheduled international flights in India since March 23. However, air passengers can still travel abroad or can come to India via air bubble arrangement. However, there are countries where Indians are not allowed to fly at this moment.
What are air bubbles?
Air bubbles or transport bubbles are temporary arrangements between two countries aimed at restarting commercial passenger services when regular international flights are suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It must be noted that the civil aviation ministry has entered into an air bubble agreement with 14 countries where Indians can travel.
Countries where Indians can fly?
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, air travellers can travel to Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bhutan, Canada, France, Germany, Iraq, Japan, Maldives, Nigeria, Qatar, UAE, UK and the US. The Centre is also negotiating these arrangements with other countries like Australia, Italy, New Zealand, Israel, Kenya, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand.
Where Indians can't fly to and why amid the pandemic?
Hong Kong has suspended Air India's flight until October 3 blaming Indian travellers for an uptick in coronavirus cases in Hong Kong. Kuwait has done a blanket ban on travel to and from India.
Saudi Arabia had announced a ban on travel to and from India, along with Brazil and Argentina, for high caseloads but it later allowed Vande Bharat repatriation flights.
Who can travel under an air bubble?
1. Only Indian citizens can travel to any of the 14 countries which fall under air bubble arrangements.
2. Minor children who hold OCI cards and whose parents are Indian nationals will be allowed to travel.
3. Those who have stranded in close neighbouring countries and permitted to exit through India.
4. Married couples where one spouse is an OCI cardholder and the other is an Indian national.
5. Students who are OCI cardholders and either of their parents is an Indian national or OCI cardholder.
6. Seamen holding Indian passport would be allowed to travel from India subject to clearance from the Ministry of Shipping.
7. Indians holding any kind of Japanese visa can travel to Japan.
8. To travel to UAE, Indian nationals need to bring an original COVID-19 negative certificate of an RT-PCR test done within 96 hours prior to the journey.