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Canada extends India flight ban: What are the options for travellers now?

This extension has come at a time when several jurisdictions have been relaxing restrictions for Indian travellers.

Written by Pranav Mukul , Edited by Explained Desk | New Delhi |
August 10, 2021 12:08:32 pm
Explained: Why has Canada extended the flight ban on India?While direct flights are banned, Canada is allowing Indian travellers to enter its borders through an indirect route. (Twitter/@AirCanada)

Transport Canada, the North American country’s department for transportation has further extended the ban on direct flights from India till September 21. This extension has come at a time when several jurisdictions have been relaxing restrictions for Indian travellers. The decision is expected to further aggravate the plight of those applying for student visas for higher education in Canada.

Why has Canada extended the flight ban?

In a statement, Transport Canada said that the country’s phased approach to easing border measures is informed by the continued monitoring of available data and scientific evidence, including the vaccination rate of Canadians and the improving epidemiological situation. Therefore, based on the advice by the Public Health Agency of Canada, the transportation department extended the ban on direct flights from India.

Is there an option for Indians to fly to Canada?

While direct flights are banned, Canada is allowing Indian travellers to enter its borders through an indirect route. However, the stipulation is that anyone entering Canada by transiting through a third country, must have a Covid19 molecular test done from a country other than India before continuing their journey to Canada. Additionally, Canada’s transport department said that its government continues to closely monitor the epidemiological situation, and will be working closely with the Government of India and aviation operators to ensure appropriate procedures are put in place to enable a safe return of direct flights as soon as conditions permit.

What are the travel restrictions for other countries?

Other than Canada, many countries that had closed their borders to Indian travellers in the backdrop of second surge of Covid19 here, have now partially relaxed their rules. These include the US, which is now allowing students to enter, the UK, which moved India from its ‘Red’ list to ‘Amber’ — meaning no compulsory institutional quarantine — and the UAE, which is allowing resident visa holders and transiting passengers from India. In addition, European countries such as Germany, France and Spain have also opened up their borders for Indian travellers.

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