Despite India’s Covid-19 situation being better, several countries are extending travel ban on India in the wake of the rapid spread of the Delta variant. Delta variant was first reported in India in October 2020. It has now spread to over 100 countries and is being seen as the possible reason for the fresh rise in Covid-19 cases in many countries including the United Kingdom.
Indian students, however, are being allowed as Indian missions abroad are pushing for the lifting of restrictions.
Saudi Arabia said it will impose a three-year travel ban on citizens travelling to ‘red list’ countries. The list includes India apart from Afghanistan, Argentina, Brazil, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Lebanon, Pakistan, South Africa, Turkey, Vietnam and the United Arab Emirates.
The United Arab Emirates has also extended the ban on Indian flights. Etihad Airways said that it is not sure when the ban will be lifted.
Canada has banned direct flights from India while Indians can reach Canada from any third destination.
The Philippines on Friday extended travel restrictions on India and nine other countries as the country is reimposing lockdown restrictions as well.
Apart from these countries, Indians can’t travel to Australia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Italy, Kuwait, New Zealand, Oman, Singapore etc.
France has recently removed India from the red list and fully vaccinated Indians can now travel to France. Germany has also eased travel restrictions for India.
Why some countries are still not allowing Indian flights
Reports said broadly there are two reasons behind countries extending the ban on Indian travellers. One, the Covid-19 situation of that country for which it might be bringing back additional restrictions. For example, the Philippines has imposed a lockdown in the Manila capital region on Friday. The extension of the travel ban is part of the country’s restrictive measures.
Two, the spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19. Delta variant is the latest cause of concern and the US health authority has said Delta variant is spreading as easily as chickenpox. Since the variant was first detected in India, some countries might be apprehensive about Indian travellers.
Minister for the state, external affairs, V Muraleedharan recently informed Parliament that the US, the UK, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands have eased restrictions for Indian students. So far, travel restrictions have been eased for Indian students by countries such as the US, the UK, Canada, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and Georgia, and more countries are expected to open up travel in future, the minister said.