The second wave of COVID-19 in India has led to a huge surge in the number of affected people and several countries have decided to ban travel to and from India. The long list includes US, Europe, and India's neighbouring countries. Since, the vaccination drive is going on in full swing, and medical facilities are being geared up, the crises may be overcome in the coming months. When the travel ban is lifted, Indians who love to explore will surely want to travel abroad. In case you have similar plans, travel insurance should be on your priority list, as nothing is more important than safety.
Read on to know more about US CDC's decision about travel to and from India
The US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that the current situation in India puts even fully vaccinated travellers at the risk of getting and spreading the virus. Hence, all travel to India should be avoided. If anyone must travel to India, they should be fully vaccinated before travel. Additionally, all travellers need to wear a mask, avoid crowds, wash their hands and maintain social distancing.
Even if you had already booked your tickets before the travel ban, you will not be allowed to travel and you will get refunds from airlines. There are exemptions to the travel ban from India to the U.S. only if you belong to the following categories:
- US citizens or permanent residents and their spouses
- Humanitarian workers
- Journalists and academicians
- Students who have to start their classes during the fall session
If you are exempted, you still need to follow certain rules while travelling to the US. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requires that all travellers must have proof of a COVID-19 negative test result not more than 3 days before arrival. It would be irrespective of their vaccination status. After arrival, they would have to take another test within 3-5 days and undergo self-quarantine.
Exemptions for the UK:
The UK also has certain guidelines for exemptions in case of travellers to and from India. If you have visited India after April 23rd, you can return to the UK only if you are Irish, British, or a third-country national with residency rights. Post arrival, you need to get quarantined in a hotel. The UK will review this guideline again in June.
How should you prepare for travel when restrictions are lifted?
Once the spread of the virus is under control, and the travel restrictions are lifted, Indian travellers can once again visit different countries in the coming months. However, the war against COVID-19 is still on and you should follow certain safety rules. Here are a few ways in which you can prepare for travel in the future:
Vaccinations for individuals above the age of 18 have begun in India and the only way you can fight the virus is by getting vaccinated. Before you book your travel or head to a different country, get your required doses of vaccines. Even though one dose will build antibodies to fight the virus, you should get both doses of the vaccine and complete the process before you head out.
Some countries only allow fully vaccinated people to enter and you will have to show the certificate when you enter. Hence, check the regulations of the country you are planning to visit and get yourself vaccinated at the earliest.
Irrespective of the presence of any pandemic, you should always have travel insurance. Whether it is a domestic or international destination, travel insurance would be useful during an emergency. For example, if you are planning to travel to the UK, get yourself UK travel insurance.
If you or your family members fall sick or meet with an accident in a foreign country, the medical expenses will drain your savings and put you in trouble. Also, you may not have proper knowledge about the medical services or hospitals over there. Travel insurance would ensure that you have access to a helpline service in case of a medical emergency. The insurance will cover the expenses incurred for medication, treatment, or hospitalisation in case of sickness or accident.
3. Safety measures
You must continue to take the necessary safety measures at all times even if you are fully vaccinated. Unless the government allows, you must wear a mask outdoors and maintain social distancing. Try to avoid crowded areas and use sanitisers or continue to wash your hands at intervals. This is the best way to maintain safety and hygiene when travelling.
4. Regular testing
Some airlines, hotels, and countries have a mandatory negative COVID test report requirement. the requirement is that you will have to get yourself tested 72 hours before you begin to travel. You will only be allowed on the flight or in the hotel if you are carrying a negative report.
However, you should not stick to this norm if you see any symptoms and get yourself tested immediately. Even minor symptoms should not be avoided. You must isolate yourself until you receive the results. Before you travel, get yourself tested in India and again get a test done on the second day after you land. This will help keep the spread of the virus at bay and increase your safety.
5. Carry safety essentials
Irrespective of the destination you are travelling to, remember to carry the safety essentials like masks, sanitiser, water, and your vitamins. Continue to follow the protocols and carry adequate masks and sanitisers with you. They have become a part of life nowadays and will continue to remain so in the future.
There may be different features or requirements related to travel insurance in different countries. In case you are travelling to Canada after the restrictions are lifted, get information regarding the Canada travel insurance while booking your flight tickets. Also, check the requirements related to vaccination and negative test reports.
It is always good to follow precautionary measures and if you must travel to a foreign country, you need to take all the necessary measures so that there is no spread of the virus in the country.
The pandemic has taught everyone valuable lessons related to health and hygiene and the importance of having insurance cover. Travel insurance is particularly important for travellers from India to different parts of the world.
Currently, India is seeing a noticeable decline in the number of fresh COVID-19 cases, but it may require some time for everything to get back to normal. In the meantime, you should follow the safety measures that were introduced in 2020. Only if everybody follows the protocol and takes precautionary measures, it may decrease the intensity of the third wave to some extent.
It is anticipated that international travel will resume soon if there is an improvement in the pandemic situation in India and the travel ban is lifted by different countries. While travelling, you should follow the COVID-19 protocols and get yourself travel insurance. This would ensure that you have a safe journey.