Air Transport Bubbles between India and other Countries
India has created air bubbles with USA, UK, UAE, Germany and France. In addition to Indian carriers, the carriers from these countries are now permitted to operate services between India and their respective countries under the air transport bubble arrangement.
A) Inbound Flights to India: – Both Indian and foreign airlines while operating inbound flights into India can carry:
- Indians and USA/German/France Carriers- Stranded Indian nationals, All Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders holding US passports and Foreigners (including diplomats), who are eligible to enter India as per Ministry of Home Affairs guidelines.
- UK Carriers- Stranded Indian nationals, All Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders holding UK passports and Foreigners (including diplomats), who are eligible to enter India as per Ministry of Home Affairs guidelines.
- UAE Carriers- UAE nationals, ICA approved UAE residents destined for UAE only, Any Indian national holding any type of valid UAE visa and destined for UAE only. It would be for the airlines concerned to ensure that there is no travel restriction for Indian nationals to enter UAE with the particular visa category before issue of ticket/ boarding pass to the Indian passenger.
B) Outbound flights from India:
- USA/Germany/France Carriers- Any Indian national holding any type of valid US visa. It would be for the airlines concerned to ensure that there is no travel restriction for Indian nationals to enter USA with the particular visa category before issue of ticket/ boarding pass to the Indian passenger, US citizens, legal permanent residents, and foreign nationals holding valid US visas, Seamen of foreign nationalities, Seamen holding Indian passports would be allowed subject to clearance from the Ministry of Shipping and Stranded EU nationals/residents, foreign nationals destined for Europe and transiting through France or Germany (as applicable) or spouses of these persons, whether accompanying or otherwise.
- UK Carriers- Any Indian national holding any type of valid UK visa and destined for UK only, Stranded UK nationals/residents, foreign nationals transiting through UK or spouses of these persons, whether accompanying or otherwise and Seamen of foreign nationalities.
- UAE Carriers- Stranded Indian nationals, All Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders holding UAE passports, and UAE nationals (including diplomats) holding valid visa issued by an Indian Mission in any category covered under Ministry of Home Affairs.
Flight updates and quarantine measures in African Countries:
Nigerian officials have announced that a flight suspension in place to limit the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is to be extended until September 5. The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) stated that the suspension, which was expected to be lifted on Saturday, August 29, was extended to allow for further preparation for the reopening of airports to international flights. Upon reopening, passengers arriving in Nigeria on international flights will be required to provide a negative coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test and will have to fill in an online health questionnaire to present to authorities once they have landed. Arrivals from certain countries will be prohibited, with further information expected in coming days. Domestic flights previously resumed on July 8.
Quarantine measures: Whereas previous protocol required persons arriving in Nigeria to quarantine for 14 days at a government-selected hotel, the new protocol stipulates persons arriving in Nigeria must self-isolate for 14 days at a location of their choosing in the City/State of their point of entry (i.e. Lagos or Abuja).
On Saturday, August 1, national air carrier Kenya Airways announced that it will resume international commercial flights with immediate effect, following its suspension amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The first international flights will be to London, Dubai, Addis Ababa, Kigali, Dar es Salaam, and Lusaka. Domestic flights were resumed on July 15. The airline’s planned service resumption in August 2020 also includes following cities, according to its update. However, reservation is not available at time this post goes to press: Lubumbashi, Bangui, Kinshasa, Mahe Island, Entebbe, Lagos, Ndola, Mauritius.
Quarantine measures: Passengers entering Kenya are required to present a negative COVID-19 test result. The test result is valid for entry if produced no more than seven days before deplaning in Kenya. There is no mandatory quarantine for arriving passengers unless they are symptomatic.
While international flights resumed on July 15, this was mainly a measure for Senegalese nationals and residents stranded abroad to return to the country, as well as foreign nationals stranded in the country to leave. Land and sea borders remain closed.
Quarantine measures: All travelers to Senegal over the age of two years must present an original COVID-19 test certificate showing a negative result. The test must occur within seven days of entry into Senegal and be issued by a laboratory approved for such testing or a recognized international health organization. Travelers transiting Senegal must also show such proof if they will be present in Senegal more than 24 hours or wish to exit the airport.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, Ethiopia has joined the list of countries that have introduced travel restrictions that affect who can enter the region. The temporary entry restrictions are intended to help contain the virus and stop it from spreading.
Quarantine measures: International travelers arriving in Ethiopia must have a medical certificate proving that they tested negative for COVID-19 with a RT-PCR test within 5 days before flying. A rapid diagnostic test (RDT antibody test) will not be accepted for this purpose. It is then necessary to self-isolate at the traveler’s home or accommodation for 14 days. Passengers who arrive without the medical certificate will be tested on arrival and quarantined at a designated hotel, such as the Ethiopian Skylight Hotel, or a special quarantine center for 7 days. This is paid for at their own expense. After the first week, they will be retested and permitted to self-isolate at home for the remaining 7 days.
President Nana Akufo-Addo announced on Sunday, August 30, that air borders will reopen to international travel as of Tuesday, September 1, following their closure due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Accra Kotoka International Airport (ACC) will also reopen to passenger air traffic on Tuesday, following the implementation of rapid COVID-19 testing for arrivals there. Land and sea borders remain closed until further notice.
Quarantine measures: Those arriving in Ghana will be required to produce a negative COVID-19 test result acquired no more than 72 hours prior to scheduled arrival. Arrivals will also have to undergo a mandatory COVID-19 test, which involves a fee to be paid by the passenger.
Tanzanian aviation authorities on Thursday banned three Kenyan airlines from flying into the country in retaliation for Kenya subjecting passengers from Tanzania to a mandatory 14-day COVID-19 quarantine. Hamza Johari, head of the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority, said in a statement that Air Kenya Express, Fly540, and Safari Link Aviation will not be allowed to enter Tanzania’s airspace unless Kenya changes its policy and gives passengers from Tanzania better treatment.
Quarantine measures: The government of Tanzania has removed mandatory 14-day quarantine requirements for visitors on arrival, as well as the requirement for a negative COVID-19 test. Tanzania is implementing temperature screening for passengers on arrival. If you show symptoms of COVID-19 on arrival, you may undergo enhanced screening and be required to take a Covid test, followed by a possible 14-day self-isolation.
International commercial flights from Kigali International Airport (KGL) resumed on August 1 amid the easing of COVID-19-related restrictions.
Quarantine measures: All travelers entering the country are required to provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result from within 120 hours prior to their departure to the country. Travelers will also be required to enter into temporary quarantine at a government-designated hotel and take a second COVID-19 test within 24 hours of arrival, with onward travel within the country being authorized after confirmation of a negative test result. COVID-19 screening will also be in place for those leaving the country, with travelers displaying symptoms being prevented from boarding their flight and quarantined at an isolation facility until they can take a COVID-19 test.
Authorities announced on Thursday, August 20, the reopening of the country’s air borders from Monday, August 24, following their closure due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Land, river, and sea borders remain closed with the exception of freight transport until further notice.
Quarantine measures: All travelers entering the Republic of Congo will be placed into 14 day quarantine at a government run facility
Mozambique’s interior ministry announced that the ban on foreign travel put in place to limit the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) will be lifted as of Friday, August 21. Mozambicans can now leave and enter the country without needing to gain authorization from the interior minister. Foreigners can also leave and enter the country, so long as they have a valid work visa, valid residence permit, visa, or ID. Separately, Mozambique’s national airline, Linhas Aereas de Mocambique, announced that it will resume flights to and from the Portuguese capital Lisbon from Tuesday, August 25.
Quarantine measures: The Mozambican Government has mandated a 10-day self-quarantine for all arrivals, regardless of citizenship or prior travel followed by a negative PRC-based COVID-19 test. Alternately, travellers may self-quarantine for a 14-day period without completing an additional COVID-19 test.
The Angolan government has instituted mandatory quarantine for anyone entering the country, regardless of citizenship. The Government of Angola has set up multiple quarantine sites throughout the country, including two quarantine sites just outside of the capital city of Luanda. Upon arrival in Luanda, travelers may choose between staying at one of several government-approved hotel quarantine locations (at personal expense) or a government-run quarantine center.
Quarantine measures: The Angolan government has instituted mandatory quarantine for anyone entering the country, regardless of citizenship. Angolan citizens and foreign residents who tested negative prior to boarding their flight may be permitted to quarantine in their homes.