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Unlock 5.0: What Does It Mean For International Travel?

​In the wake of COVID-19 pandemic lot of restrictions were placed on International travel. All travel was halted for more than a month. It slowly opened in phases with the signing of air bubble arrangements with countries that allowed smooth travel. India got into an air bubble with principal countries like the UK and to start travel for passengers. Though, the number of flights operated and the number of people who can board a flight is limited. Unlock 5.0 guidelines were released by the Home Ministry. The Director-General of Civil Aviation extended the ban on scheduled international flight till 31st October. However, this restriction is not applicable on flights to all countries. Some flights are currently being operated for few countries with restricted measures. Buy travel insurance before planning to travel abroad. Any insurance will make sure that your remains safe during the trip and all the emergency expenses that may arise are covered. ​

Why is the ban extended?

Unlock 5.0 guidelines have been released and haven't allowed international flights to operate normally before 31st October. The government had previously stated that unlock will depend on how the virus behaves. With a surge in cases in India, the chances of normal flight operation are low. Almost 80,000 cases are reported in India daily. This already huge number is at risk of increasing with relaxation in travel guidelines. Keeping all this in mind the flights have been suspended in near future. ​

Current options to fly abroad

India has currently established an air bubble arrangement with 15 countries. These are US, UK, Canada, UAE, Qatar, Nigeria Maladies, Kenya, Japan, Iraq, Germany, France, Bhutan, Bahrain, and Afghanistan. Airlines from both countries will fly under proper jurisdiction. Apart from the Air Bubbles some flights is also operated under the Vande Bharat Mission. Few of these flights are carrying people from India. Under the air bubble arrangements, Air India is operating flights thrice a week to the US. Airlines are also operating flights between Delhi to London, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Koichi, and Goa. 

Are Visas being issued for International destinations?

According to VFS Global, a visa outsourcing firm, Visa application for 25 countries have resumed. Many of these have opened their application only for specific categories. For example, most European countries are accepting the category D visa application. The visa is granted only to a person studying, working, or permanently residing in one of the Schengen countries. Similarly, the US is accepting visas for emergency cases, student visas, work visas of H and L class. Countries like UK, UAE, and Turkey are accepting all types of visa applications. 

With clear guidelines and now decreasing cases in India, the travel restriction is expected to relax. The economy has been suffering a lot due to travel restriction, continuing it won't be sustainable. With more comfortable and clear guidelines people for work purposes or any emergency would be able to travel to foreign countries easily. If you are planning to travel abroad, a very crucial thing is travel insurance. Having one would make your trip secure and will ensure your safety and coverage during the trip.​