India Grants Three Important Relaxations for International Travellers

India Grants Three Important Relaxations for International Travellers

The Indian government has announced three important relaxations for international travellers including allowing OCI card holders from US, UK, Germany and France to visit India, according to an official notification issued by the civil aviation ministry on Friday.

India had earlier established air bubbles with the above four countries creating an air corridor for operation of limited flights between India and these countries. In the second important relaxation, the ministry has also given a nod to Indians holding any valid visa– including for tourism– issued by these four countries to travel to these destinations, provided there are no restrictions imposed on entry of Indian nationals holding a particular kind of visa, by authorities in these countries.

The government has put the onus of checking, if such restrictions specific to each country exist, on the airlines operating to these destinations.

“Any Indian national holding any type of valid visa of such countries may be permitted to travel to the country concerned provided there is no travel restriction for entry of Indian nationals in that country. It would be for the airlines concerned to ensure there is no travel restriction for Indian nationals to enter the country concerned with the particular visa category before issue of tickets/boarding pass to the Indian passenger,” the new order said.

The third relaxation allows foreigners in the above four countries to travel to India for business, medical and employment purposes.

The latest notification modifies the last guidelines issued on June 30 listing out conditions for international travel.

International flights were suspended in March earlier this year after the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic. Government later allowed Air India and other careers to evacuate Indian citizens stuck abroad under the Vande Bharat mission. The relaxations were later expanded to include more categories of passengers, including from countries with which India signed agreements for creation of air bubbles. Regular international travel has not resumed yet.

Earlier this month, the ministry of civil aviation extended restrictions on limited domestic flight operations and caps on air fares till November 24 in an order issued on July 24. Centre at present has allowed domestic flight operations to function at 45% of their total capacity.

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