Multiple countries stopped travel from India or imposed expensive quarantines amid the country’s harsh second Covid wave in April. Now as India’s Covid-19 numbers decline, homebound Indians suffering from cabin fever are dreaming of travel again and eyeing their passports. But where can they go?
Domestic travel has largely opened up with a few restrictions, and evidence of the pent-up desire to travel was evident in traffic jams leading up to India’s popular hill stations. But international travel is a complicated web of travel restrictions, visa requirements, and, often, expensive quarantine rules.
“We are seeing a slight increase in international travel search queries for July and August as travellers are optimistic they would be able to fly post the end of the international travel ban on India,” Manan Bajoria, AVP of growth and marketing at travel website ixigo, told Quartz India. “With Covid cases in the country seeing a downward trend and countries like Dubai easing travel restrictions, we expect interest in international travel to gradually pick up in the coming months.”
Delta variant a worry
But most travel destinations long popular with Indians still aren’t welcoming arrivals due to the prevalence of the highly transmissible Delta variant. Nearly all of the European Union, the UK, the US, and Asian destinations like Thailand and Singapore in Asia currently do not allow tourists from India. Canada has extended its travel ban for Indians now up till July 21, and will only allow Canadian citizens and residents to travel to the country in the meanwhile. Australia, too, has strictly suspended all travel from India. Travel may be permitted, but only under extenuating circumstances, and likely only for those who have residency in or are citizens of these countries.