Covid-19: India’s new travel guidelines come as a relief to tourists, frequent flyers


Dubai - New rules classify countries, make flights easier for those going on business trips

By SM Ayaz Zakir

Published: Thu 21 Oct 2021, 2:39 PM

Last updated: Thu 21 Oct 2021, 2:58 PM

Travels agents say that the new Covid-19 protocol by the government of India will ease travel for Indians flying from the UAE.

Business travellers will benefit from the revised guidelines for international arrivals in India, said Mir Wasim Raja, manager, International Travel Services.

India revised travel protocols for its inbound international travellers on October 20, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) said. Passengers must upload a negative Covid-19 RT-PCR report that has been conducted within 72 hours of undertaking the journey.

The revised travel protocols will come into effect on October 25. While there are no major changes made for travellers arriving from the UAE, India has created a country-wise classification based on the epidemiological situation of Covid-19 in those countries.

Travellers arriving in India have been classified into two categories: travellers coming from 'at risk countries' and travellers from all other countries.

The listing of specified countries is a dynamic exercise based on the evolving situation of the pandemic across the world, said the Ministry of Health.

Wasim also highlighted that many tourists from India and Europe come to the UAE to visit Expo 2020.

"Expo is one of the major attractions now. Tourists are very eager to get a glimpse of new attractions in Dubai, like Ain Dubai and Madame Tussauds," he said.

"Travellers from India are majorly leisure groups who are on vacation; and from Europe, tourists are flocking for leisure and corporate purposes," Wasim added.

Taha Siddique, owner, Siddique Travels based in the coastal Karnataka, India said that the new reform is a relief for travellers.

"As it is a vacation period, many of my clients are flying to the UAE to visit Expo 2020 Dubai and for shopping. The 48-hour PCR test was troublesome as the travellers were busy last-minute shopping and packing."

"As per the new reform, 72-hour validity for PCR test would do a great relief for travellers and they can plan a better trip."

Jaffer Sadiq, a businessman from Bangalore, said that he often travels to Dubai for business and has a tight schedule.

"It was very hectic to get the PCR test done in the last two days as I travel only for 3-5 days on a regular basis. A few times, I had forgotten to do the PCR before returning to India. But the lab people were helpful in providing the results in just 4 hours."


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