Travelers can now visit India Covid-stress-free! The Indian government announced this Monday that the last pandemic-related travel requirement, the Air Suvidha form, has been removed.
International travelers were required to fill out this health declaration form to present it at the Delhi Airport, and starting now, November 22, they will no longer have to do this nor take a PCR COVID-19 test.
According to the official statement, the updates have been made “in light of sustained declining COVID-19 trajectory and significant advances being made in COVID-19 vaccination coverage both globally as well as in India.”
Just like St.Maarten did a few weeks ago, India finally joins the large group of countries without any COVID-19 travel restrictions. However, there are a few considerations for travelers. Here’s what you need to know:
Updated Travel Protocols
In 2020, during the pandemic, the Indian government created a platform for travelers to fill out the Air Suvidha form, which had to be filled out at least 72 hours prior to departure. Local authorities reopened for tourism and allowed international flights by the end of March this year, but all international travelers —including children of 5 years and above— had to get an RT PCR test and show a negative unless they were vaccinated.
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Now, the rules have just changed, and travelers can have a “normal” travel experience. Here are the new travel guidelines:
- Travelers are no longer required to be vaccinated nor take a COVID-19 test. Although according to the statement, they should “preferably be fully vaccinated as per the approved primary schedule of vaccination against COVID-19 in their country.”
- Masks are not required during flights, just recommended.
- Passengers with COVID-19 symptoms should be isolated and wear a mask while traveling and go to an isolation facility for treatment.
- Physical distancing is advised.
- At the airport, travelers will pass through thermal screening, and if a traveler shows symptoms will be isolated and designated to a medical facility.
- All travelers are recommended to self-monitor their health, and if they feel sick, they should go to the nearest health facility. A helpline number, (1075)/ State Helpline Number, is also available.
Only last week, the Indian government determined that masks were optional during flights, and with these new updates, travelers can have a similar experience to pre-pandemic travel.
Travelers Can Begin To Plan Their Next Trip To India
Now that India has lifted COVID-19-related travel restrictions, more travelers will be interested in visiting this fascinating and enormous country that measures 3,287,263 square kilometers. The rich culture, the gastronomy, the architecture, the landscapes… there’s so much to see in India!
United Airlines, American Airlines, and Air India are currently offering non-stop flights from New York to Delhi —a 14-hour flight—starting at $760 according to a recent search on Google Flights, and the average price for direct flights is currently around $1,400. Prices could increase in the following days after this announcement.
Travelers interested in visiting India can start to plan their next trip. This destination offers visitors fascinating landmarks, temples, cities, and unique experiences; these are travelers’ favorites:
- Taj Mahal: the impressive ivory-white marble mausoleum located in Agra. Considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983 and winner of the New 7 Wonders of the World initiative.
- Amber Palace: This fascinating fort in Amber has unique architecture and beauty that amazes travelers.
- Kashmir Valley: This beautiful valley surrounded by gorgeous mountains offers visitors breathtaking landscapes and hikes.
- Yoga retreats: Many yogis crave India for its many ashrams and yoga courses, where this practice originated.
- Gali Paranthe Wali: This old neighborhood has great eateries and fascinating shops. Here travelers can eat the best Paranthe, a delicious local flatbread.
- Goa: one of digital nomads’ favorite beach destinations that has beautiful beaches, a fascinating culture mix —Portuguese and Indian— and very cheap prices.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com