Travel | Countries where Indians can travel - All you need to know about Air Bubbles, Travel Restrictions and Relaxations

 Most of us have been patiently waiting to get back to traveling (albeit, with strict precautions). However, looking at the current scenario, we can confirm that restrictions would be relaxed in an organised, phase-wise manner. The civil aviation ministry has entered into air bubbles with 14 countries, where Indian citizens can fly. Currently, talks are also on with several other countries, in order to facilitate two-way international travel. However, currently there are some countries where Indians are not allowed to fly, which means that no air bubble can be set up with these countries as of now.

So, what exactly does one mean by 'Air Bubbles'?: Air bubbles are temporary arrangements between two countries, which are aimed at re-starting commercial passenger service, at a time when regular international flights across the world are suspended. As we all know, International flights were suspended in March, as almost all countries had imposed a strict lockdown, in order to combat the spread of Covid-19. Repatriation flights resumed in May, but these flights are different from air bubble flights as repatriation flights can’t carry passengers both ways.

So, which countries can Indians not travel to (as of now) and why?: As several countries are opening international travel gradually, governments are in the process of identifying high-risk and safe countries. 

  • The European Union didn’t identify India as a safe country. However, India does have air bubble with Germany and France. 
  • South Africa: South Africa will resume international travels from October 1. However, it is likely that the government will not allow Indians to travel to the country. 
  • Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia has barred all flights to and from India in its effort to keep a check on the Covid-19 situation in their own country.
  • Hong Kong: Earlier this month, Hong Kong placed a bar on Air India flights, blaming Indian travellers for an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases in Hong Kong. However, we hear the bar will be lifted soon. Also, just FYI - there are other airlines operating to Hong Kong.

So, which destinations can Indians fly to?

The 14 countries where Indian citizens can fly to include: Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bhutan, Canada, France, Germany, Iraq, Japan, Maldives, Nigeria, Qatar, the UAE, the UK, and the US.


Current relaxations for domestic air travel:  The government is gradually lifting certain restrictions such as relaxing the cap on number of flights from 45 per cent of pre-Covid number to 60 per cent. In addition, on-board meal services have been allowed on domestic sectors. From among the latest developments, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has allowed airlines to decide the baggage rules.

We highly urge all travellers to ensure they step out only in case of an emergency or urgent travel requirement. Ensure you take all necessary precautions and follow all strict hygiene measures.

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Priya Adivarekar

Priya Adivarekar - Founder and Creative Director at Diary of a Dancebee. She is also a renowned Voice Actress and award winning artiste, with serious passion for dance. When not working round the clock, she can be seen reading, enjoying a movie-binge or listening to music.
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