These Countries Are Currently Open to Indian Tourists | Nat Geo Traveller India

These Countries Are Currently Open to Indian Tourists

From Russia to Ethiopia and Kyrgyzstan to Mexico, countries across the world are welcoming travellers from India. Here’s what you need to know.  
These Countries Are Currently Open to Indian Tourists
Sri Lanka is one of the only neighbouring nations that has opened up its borders to India. Photo By: Melinda Nagy/Shutterstock

With India vaccinating more of its population on the daily, and the country reporting lesser coronavirus cases since the second deadly wave hit earlier in April, the idea of international travel is yet again a possibility. While the Indian government has extended its official ban on international flights, in place since March 2020, to July 31, flights under the bilateral air bubble pacts with select countries will continue to operate. 

Indian travellers have begun to dream up future vacations overseas, but it’s imperative to plan ahead for a safe and hassle-free experience. To this end, here is a list of all the countries that are open to Indian tourists currently—with details of the travel and safety protocols that are in place, the kind of visas required and where to apply for the same. 

(Disclaimer: The travel guidelines and restrictions mentioned for each country are as of September 9, 2021. These are subject to change, as per the coronavirus situation in India.)

 

Africa

Ivory Coast

If it’s an offbeat destination you’re after, a trip to the Côte d’Ivoire or Ivory Coast would be the perfect fit. 

Travel Guidelines: Vaccinated travellers are required to carry a negative RT-PCR test that is taken not more than five days before their arrival, while unvaccinated passengers will have to undergo a 14-day quarantine period upon arrival. Tourists will also be subjected to thermal screenings at the arrival airport; if the recorded  temperature is above 100.4°Fahrenheit, a subsequent PCR test will be conducted, on the basis of which a 14-day self-quarantine or quarantine at a medical facility may be warranted.  

Safety Guidelines: The government has put together a list of safety guidelines, encouraging basic practices such as social distancing and frequent hand-washing to prevent the spread of the virus.

For visa details, click here

 

Travellers from India will have to undergo a rapid DNA test (ID NOW) upon arriving in Egypt. Photo By: NAPA/Shutterstock

 

Egypt

Egypt, a favoured global travel hotspot, has reportedly opened its borders to Indian travellers.  

Travel Guidelines: Tourists are expected to provide a negative RT-PCR test from maximum 72 hours before boarding the flight. They will also have to undergo a rapid DNA test (ID NOW), that will provide the results within 15 minutes. Travellers who test positive will either be required to isolate for 14 days, or will be sent back to their point of departure. Necessary documents like health declaration forms will have to be submitted, as well as details for a public health card.  

Safety Guidelines: Basic COVID-19 guidelines are being encouraged to be followed while travelling within the country.

For visa details, click here.  

 

Ethiopia

All Indian travellers with valid visas are allowed to visit the African country, with limited restrictions on who is allowed within its borders.

Travel Guidelines: Travellers who have not been vaccinated will need to present a negative RT-PCR test that has been taken no less than five days prior to the date of departure. A Rapid Diagnostic Test is accepted only for transit passengers. Before arrival, all passengers must complete a Passenger Health Registration Form.

Safety Guidelines: The country is restricting movement between cities and rural areas and limiting social gatherings to 50 people or less.

For visa details, click here

 

Rwanda

While Indians are allowed to travel to Rwanda and the country has declared itself open to tourism, it has placed stringent COVID-19 measures for all international tourists. 

Travel Guidelines: Visitors are required to present a negative RT-PCR test that has been taken at least 72 hours before the departure date. Upon arrival they would be required to pay $60/Rs4,457 ( and quarantine for 7 days at a designated hotel. The negative result valid for 72 hours determines their movement within the country, following which a rapid antigen test, which is required to visit most tourist places. Furthermore, some tourist places such as the famous volcanos and national parks require a negative RT-PCR test (72-hour period) for admission.

Safety Guidelines: The country is reportedly following a national curfew between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m. and social gatherings are prohibited. Several localised lockdowns have also been put in place. 

For visa details, click here

 

South Africa

When the news of a new South African strain of the virus had emerged earlier this year, many were hesitant to travel to the country. However, cases have since reduced and the nation has now opened its borders to Indian tourists.  

Travel Guidelines: To be allowed into the  country, travellers will have to provide a negative RT-PCR test. However, with the varying threat levels regarding international travel being updated regularly, travellers should be prepared for guidelines to be shifted as per the situation. 

Safety Guidelines: While the travel sector of the country has been adjusted to an Alert Level 1, allowing for most forms of travel, those planning on visiting South Africa must plan their movement within the same, vigilantly. 

For visa details, click here.

 

Asia

Armenia

Armenia has been open to international travellers for a while, and Indian tourists looking for a great blend of culture and history could plan a future trip to the country. 

Travel Guidelines: Indian travellers entering the country need to either provide a negative RT-PCR test from maximum 72 hours before departure or provide proof of being fully vaccinated. Failure to provide either would result in an expenses-borne quarantine till the results arrive.

Safety Guidelines: The standard social-distancing and other coronavirus-related safety guidelines are in place in the country. 

For visa details, click here.

 

Travellers who are not vaccinated need to provide a negative RT-PCR test from within 72 hours before the date of departure to Kyrgyzstan. Photo By: Denis Kabanov/Shutterstock

 

Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan—a country boasting of grand architecture, heritage sites and cultural lessons—is now open to Indian tourists. 

Travel Guidelines: Travellers who are not vaccinated need to provide a negative RT-PCR test from within 72 hours before the date of departure.  They will also be required to self-quarantine upon arrival. Those who can provide internationally recognised vaccination certificates are exempted from all forms of tests. However, the tourist must have received both doses of the vaccine.

Safety Guidelines: Basic COVID-19 related safety measures such as social distancing and washing hands are in place in the country. 

For visa details, click here

 

Singapore

Prepping for the potential influx of tourists soon, Singapore has relaxed its COVID-19 guidelines for Indian travellers.

Travel Guidelines: Under the country’s Vaccinated Travel Program, travellers who have been inoculated with both doses of the vaccine, can enter the city-state without having to quarantine. Following the control in contagion and the vaccination of 85% successfully completed, Singapore has taken quarantine restrictions off for five nations including India, which has also been upgraded to Category 2 in its COVID-19 risk profile classification system. Minors aged 12 and under are allowed to accompany double-vaccinated adults. However, pre-departure (no earlier than 48 hours prior) and on-arrival PCR tests will continue.

Safety Guidelines: Singapore has implemented Safe Travel Lanes to facilitate travel while safeguarding public health amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

For visa details, click here.

 

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is the only neighbouring country that is open to Indian tourists currently. 

Travel Guidelines: Unvaccinated Indian travellers can visit 22 tourists places, including wildlife sanctuaries and cultural, historical, and Buddhist religious places. They would be placed under a bio bubble. Those who have received both the doses of the vaccine can go around the country after obtaining a negative RT-PCR report. 

Safety Guidelines: Localised safety measures decided by regional authorities might be in place.

For visa details, click here

 

Oceania

Australia

The country has opened its doors to international tourists in a phased manner after observing one of the strictest border-closing policies in the world for 18 months.

Travel Guidelines: In addition to the previously recognised Covishield vaccine, Australia has now announced its recognition of the Bharat Biotech-manufactured Covaxin to establish a traveller’s vaccination status while entering the country. Direct flights between Delhi and Sydney are expected to resume from November 15.  Unvaccinated travellers will still face quarantine restrictions and all travellers need proof of a negative COVID-19 test prior to boarding.

Safety Guidelines: The change in travel rules, however, is not uniform across the country, with states and territories including Western Australia, having differing vaccination rates and health policies.

For visa details, click here.

Europe

Russia resumed flight operations with India recently, becoming a popular choice for Indian tourists to plan a trip to in the near future. Photo By: Kanuman/Shutterstock

 

Russia

The country is one of the most sought-after foreign destinations for travel from India. With the idea of a vaccine vacation still oscillating between fact and fantasy, the recent announcement made by the country to resume its flight operations with India makes it even more appealing as a destination for Indian tourists at the moment. 

Travel Guidelines: Indian travellers will have to provide the hard-copy of a negative RT-PCR test taken atleast 72 hours within the date of departure, to be allowed entry into the country. Most regular travellers, vaccinated or unvaccinated, are not expected to live in quarantine, except for those that opt for an on-arrival test, that would need them to wait for the results at a designated location for 24 or 48 hours.

Safety Guidelines: The federal government is following a stratified model to regulate the restriction of movement in various parts of the country. 

For visa details, click here.

 

Serbia 

The country has grabbed the eyeball of international tourists with it being on the list of exciting places across the world offering vaccine vacations. 

Travel Guidelines: Indian travellers looking to enter the country have to provide a negative RT-PCR test 48-hours before the date of departure. The absence of such a document calls for a 10-day self-quarantine. 

Safety Guidelines:  Other than encouraging the basic COVID-19 safety guidelines, social gatherings, both indoor and outdoor, will be limited to 500 people.

For visa details, click here

 

Ukraine

Ukraine is yet another country that has opened its borders to Indian tourists. 

Travel Guidelines: Travellers entering the country will have to provide either a negative RT-PCR test, a negative Antigen test or a certificate proof of having been fully vaccinated as approved by WHO. Travellers may also be subject to rapid-antigen tests across all state borders and check-posts in the country. 

Safety Guidelines: Ukraine is said to be using a colour-coding policy to classify the restrictions needed in various countries. With almost all of the country coded green, restrictions are expected to be at an all-time low, depending upon the situation.

For more visa details, click here.

 

France

Travel Guidelines: Fully vaccinated travellers, including Indians, can now travel to France without a compelling reason irrespective of the red, amber or green classification implemented by France. As of July 18, the country has also recognised Covishield in its list of approved vaccines, albeit travel is possible only two weeks after the second dose of Covishield has been administered.

Safety Guidelines: The European nation will reinforce restrictions on unvaccinated travellers from a series of countries to counter a rebound in COVID-19 infections. Non-vaccinated people coming from the United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, the Netherlands and Greece are required to present a COVID-19 test dating from less than 24 hours before travel to enter France. Currently tests can date from 48 hours for U.K. travellers and 72 hours for the other countries listed.

Further information on visas and travel modalities are still awaited.

 

Germany

Recent news updates have reported that Germany has opened up its borders for countries battling the Delta variant of the Coronavirus. Almost all forms of travellers from India are now allowed to enter the country with few restrictions.

Travel Guidelines: As India has been termed a ‘high incidence area,’ all travellers must present a negative PCR or antigen test along with a proof of complete vaccination or recovery from an infection (for specific travellers). Regular travellers can only enter the country if they’re fully vaccinated. They do not require to quarantine upon entering or returning from the country anymore.

Safety Guidelines: The country follows an opening system comprised of five steps, which allows it to regulate the opening of public services and events according to the infection rates. The regulations are reported to differ for various federal states.

For visa details, click here.

 

Switzerland

The European nation has long remained a coveted destination among Indian travellers.

Travel Guidelines: The Embassy of Switzerland in New Delhi is currently accepting all visa categories for persons arriving from India, who can prove, that they have been fully vaccinated. This means individuals that have received both the doses of a WHO-approved vaccine are exempted from quarantine upon arrival. However, there is no direct flight between India and Switzerland at the moment. Transit through other countries might be restricted.

Safety Guidelines: Entry restrictions continue to apply to foreign nationals who are not fully vaccinated with CHE, EU and WHO recognised vaccines and are without rights of free movement, entering from risk countries or regions and who do not belong to any of the exceptional categories of the COVID-19.

For visa details, click here.

 

U. K.

The country recently did away with its amber list implemented in early August, replacing it with a new, two-tiered system: one red list and measures for other countries. The new guidelines will be applicable starting October 4.

Travel Guidelines: With the scrapping of the traffic-light system, the U. K. will effectively remove the amber list requirements for India, which means travelling to the country will become cheaper. The new system is expected to last until year-end, following which a review might take place. However, whether vaccinated travellers from India still have to undergo an RT-PCR both before departure and on arrival is unclear despite the U. K. recently revising its advisory to approve India’s Covishield jab.

Passengers are advised to check FCDO advice before travelling.

Safety Guidelines: Visitors who are still not fully vaccinated under U. K. mandates, which means all Indians (including those fully vaccinated), are required to undertake pre-departure, day 2 and day 8 PCR tests (to be paid for) and self-isolate for 10 days. Those who need to shorten their isolation period can opt for Testing to Release. October-end onwards, a lateral flow test (a cheaper alternative to RT-PCR) is expected to be implemented for fully vaccinated travellers.

 

North America

Mexico is the only country in North America currently allowing Indian tourists. Photo By: GERARDO HUITRON/Shutterstock

 

Mexico

Mexico is the only country in North America currently allowing Indian tourists, without too many travel restrictions in place. 

Travel Guidelines: Mexico has one of the most relaxed rules in place for foreign travellers. Other than providing a negative RT-PCR test, little falls in the way of one enjoying their stay in the country in the present times.

Safety Guidelines:  Similar to Ukraine’s colour system, Mexico has adopted a traffic-light system (red, yellow, green) that allows them to regulate the situations in different regions. 

For visa details, click here.

 

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  • Saayank Besen is an Army kid and student at DSE who has been travelling the country since his senses first kicked in. He's also a lover of road trips, especially when he's the one behind the wheels, and hopes for many more journeys on the road.

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