Latest in Travel: France is open, Museum tiff over Russia and more

Travel restrictions going down, an Amsterdam museum snapping ties with St Petersburg and a group of Indians seeking permission to visit Pakistan—here’s all that happened this week.

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Fully vaccinated? Time to start planning that Paris trip. Photo by: S. Borisov/Shutterstock

Following a wave of loosening travel restrictions all over the world, France recently brought India on its Green List. This allows fully vaccinated passengers from India to travel to the country without restrictions. Travellers do, however, need to carry (a) a negative RT-PCR test not older than 72 hours, (b) and a proof of vaccination, as indicated by a tweet shared by Emmanuel Lenain, the French Ambassador to India.

 

Earlier this week, an anticipated travel bubble between India and Thailand was approved, the details of which are awaited.

 

Jain Pilgrims Seek Ministry’s Approval to Travel to Pakistan

The Katas Raj temple and the Kartarpur Sahib gurudwara are among the best-known cross-border pilgrimages in Pakistan for Indian citizens. However, ‘Acharya Atmaramji’ in Gujranwala, a new shrine dedicated to the Jain faith, which lay in disuse for decades, and another religious attraction in Lahore, were recently restored as part of a new initiative in the country, and have become the subject of interest of 22 members of the Jain community in India. The group has received visas whose validity expires on March 7, if they don’t receive the requisite permissions from the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Department of Immigration in India. However, no assistance has come the group’s way in light of the heightened tensions between the two countries and a 1974 protocol that largely prohibits most cross-border religious travel.

Read more about Jain relics and shrines in Pakistan here.

 

Hermitage Amsterdam “Severs” Ties With Russia

The largest satellite of the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg has broken off with the larger establishment after Russia’s continued assault and invasion of Ukraine, reports Reuters. Hermitage Amsterdam has amassed an enviable collection thanks to cooperation from the famous Russian institution that was started in 1764. However, in a statement released recently, the Dutch museum decided to “sever ties” and the 30-year period of cooperation the two establishments share. This effectively means that a major part of the Amsterdam institution will close, although the officials have expressed hope that ties can be re-established and the situation changes for the better.

 

Iceland Scraps All COVID-19 Restrictions

Iceland may be witnessing a spurt in the daily new COVID-19 cases of late, but that hasn’t deterred the idyllic island nation from making an absolute return of sorts to travel. The country recently opened up to all travellers without needing them to carry negative COVID-19 reports or vaccination certificates.

Read details here.

 

Vietnam is Reopening on March 15

Vietnam has seen some of the strictest travel restrictions throughout the pandemic, but the backpacker favourite is reopening. Starting March 15, the country will resume tourism. Daily infection cases breached the 1-lakh mark on March 1, but authorities appear confident of managing the outbreak, having vaccinated close to 80% of its adult population, and with the wave expected to peak in mid-March and ebb thereafter. Been planning to travel to the beautiful country? You need to:

1. Be fully vaccinated. Carry your vaccination certificate for entry.

2. Carry a negative RT-PCR report prior to departure and after arrival.

3. Carry COVID-19 insurance coverage with a minimum cover of $10,000 (₹7,57,500)

 

To read more stories on travel, cities, food, nature, and adventure, head to our web forum here or our new National Geographic Traveller India app here.

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  • Prannay Pathak dreams about living out of a suitcase and retiring to the island of Hamneskär to watch films in solitary confinement. He is Assistant Editor (Digital) at National Geographic Traveller India.

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