Almost two years after the world clamped down on international travel due to the coronavirus pandemic, Countries opening up for International Tourism.
Many countries including the United States and the United Kingdom are cautiously opening up their borders to tourists across the globe. Months of isolation have wreaked havoc on economies, especially those that primarily depend on tourism.
A recent report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development pegged the loss to global GDP at $4 trillion for the years 2020 and 2021. While the report suggested that international tourism is unlikely to reach its former levels until 2023 or later, the growing percentage of vaccinated citizens has prompted some countries to relax their border restrictions in time for the tourist-heavy seasons in December and January.
A mix of proof of vaccination against Covid-19, RT-PCR test results, and quarantine measures have been put in place to ensure a balance between tourism and the safety of both visitors and locals. The process has also seen hints of reciprocal restrictions, as was seen in the case of the India-United Kingdom travel rules controversy.
List of countries that have opened their borders for Indian tourists:
The US has announced that it will be opening its borders for vaccinated travelers next month. From November 8, visitors can fly to America provided they show a negative RT-PCR test and proof of full vaccination. Further instructions, including the time range of the test, are expected to be announced in the coming days. Provisions for travel for unvaccinated travel are yet to be announced too.
Thailand will reopen for vaccinated visitors of select countries from November 1. Fully vaccinated citizens of 10 countries deemed to be “low-risk” will be allowed to enter the country without quarantine, provided they arrived via air. They will, however, have to show a negative RT-PCR test result on arrival, and another one in Thailand. China, Germany, Singapore, the UK, and the US are on the list. India is not.
Vaccinated travelers from India will have to quarantine for seven days on arrival. They too must undergo two RT-PCR tests during their quarantine, the first on arrival and the second on days 6-7. Vaccine certificates need to be carried as well.
Covid-19 guidelines for Indians traveling to the UK were much discussed in the wake of the Covishield controversy. However, following talks between the two governments, it is now understood that Indians who are full-vaccinated will not be required to undergo any quarantine. Travelers will need to carry vaccination certificates and take an RT-PCR test on the second day of arrival.
Fully vaccinated travelers should carry with them a negative RT-PCR test done no more than 72 hours prior to embarkation. They should carry with them the original vaccination certificate. Non-vaccinated tourists are required to undergo a 14-day quarantine at a government-approved hotel and RT-PCR tests on arrival and exit of quarantine.
Travelers to Dubai are required to show the negative RT-PCR test before arrival. The test needs to be taken within 96 hours of travel to the country.
Visitors, including those from India, are allowed to get a visa on arrival in the Maldives.
Tourists can travel through Chile provided they are fully vaccinated. A negative Covid-19 test too is required upon arrival in the country. Bear in mind that the vaccine you have taken should be approved by the Chilean Public Health Institute (ISP), the World Health Organisation (WHO), the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), or the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
Bahrain allows entry for vaccinated travelers from certain countries without quarantine. (Full list available at https://www.bahrainairport.bh/covid-19-travel-information). For fully vaccinated Indians who are eligible to obtain an on-arrival visa, RT-PCR tests are required upon arrival, on the fifth day after arrival, and on the tenth day after arrival.
Travelers from India are required to take an RT-PCR test on arrival in Egypt. The test needs to be taken no more than 72 hours prior to arrival. The requirement is compulsory irrespective of vaccination status. However, children under six are exempt from this.