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Countries Welcoming Tourists From India: RT-PCRs & Quarantine

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With the end of the first wave many countries, especially Dubai, the Maldives and the Seychelles, had remained open to tourists from India. But with the second wave and the growing number of cases, most countries put India on a red list. However, things are gradually improving, travelers from India, holding a tourist visa, are authorized by some countries. Here is a list of open countries, but under extremely specific conditions. 

MAURITIUS

Mauritius will be welcoming international travelers from 15 July 2021. The island will be opening in phases during 2021 and the first phase, from 15 July to 30 September 2021, will enable vaccinated travelers to enjoy a resort holiday on the island. Holidaymakers will be able to enjoy facilities within their chosen resort premises, including the swimming pool and beach.

If guests stay over 14 days and have negative PCR tests during their stay in the resort, they will be able to explore the island’s attractions. Travelers to Mauritius aged 18 years or over must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. They must undergo a PCR test between 5 and 7 days before departure and a negative result is required to travel to the island. Travelers will also have a PCR test on arrival at the airport in Mauritius and on day 7 and 14 of their resort holiday, as applicable.

For Phase 2, from the 1st of October 2021, vaccinated travelers will be allowed entry without restrictions upon presentation of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours before departure. Unvaccinated travelers will be subject to 14 days in-room quarantine for both Phases 1 and 2 until further notice.

EGYPT

Egypt, the popular Middle Eastern tourist destination has announced to test those visitors arriving from the countries where Delta COVID-19 variants have appeared, including India. Such tourists will have to take a rapid test upon arrival. The passengers will have to stop and take the 15-minute DNA test, called ID NOW to enter the country, if arriving from any COVID-19 strain country.

Earlier Egypt had announced that visitors will no longer have to produce any negative COVID-19 test report to enter the country. The announcement was made over the fears that tourists would cancel their plans and holidays because of this. But recently, the cases of COVID-19 in Egypt have been rising and the government decided to get a little strict and test people coming from COVID-19 variant countries at the time of arrival.

RUSSIA

Russia is among the few countries that has opened its doors to the Indian travellers, but they must go through a tedious process. To enter Russia, one must have an invitation from a government mandated tourist agency and providing mere hotel reservations does not suffice. Also, one can apply for a tourist visa that is valid for up to 30 days for single entry or double entry.

There’s a requirement to produce RT-PCR test done within 72 hours prior to arrival and also an on-spot test at the arrival. Only if you are found negative you will be permitted enter Russia and a person who tests positive will be transferred to a COVID treatment facility. Currently there are only few flights from India to Russia so the ticket prices are at least 2.5 times the regular airfare.

Russia has recently reported a surge in the cases, most of the attributed to the Delta variant. There’s a probability that Russia might lock its borders once again with India. It’s advisable to book your tickets only if the situation is under control.

SERBIA

Erstwhile Soviet Union nation, Serbia, like Russia, is also open to Indian travellers, but with certain restrictions. There’s a need to provide a negative RT-PCR test taken 48 hours before the time of departure and there is only limited flight being operated by Lufthansa and KLM Royal Dutch from Mumbai to Belgrade. The prices are not exponentially high as compared to the Russia.

TURKEY

A popular destination among the Indian travellers, Turkey is now allowing tourists, but you have to undergo mandatory 14-day institutional quarantine. A test will be performed on the 14th day of arrival, and only if you are tested negative, you will be allowed to leave the quarantine facility. The ticket prices are at least 2 times the regular airfare and flights are being operated by carriers such as Air India, Emirates and KLM Royal Dutch.

ICELAND

Iceland the only EU nation allowing Indians to enter the territory. The only catch is that you have to be fully vaccinated with the approved vaccinations by EU including Covishield by AstraZeneca. A company called Pure Luxe by KFT is providing private charters and land packages to the country since India doesn’t have an Air Bubble pact with the country. You will have to present a valid vaccination certificate and a negative PCR test upon arrival.

Icelandic authorities will also make you undergo one screening test for COVID-19 at the border and you will be exempted from quarantine if the test is negative.

United Kingdom

This one is a tricky affair but can be done if you have stayed in Iceland for more than 10 days. This essentially means that if you have to enter UK on a Tourist Visa, you need to fly to Iceland first, stay there for 10-days and then enter the UK border.

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