US advises its citizens against travel to India

Forum Gandhi Mumbai | Updated on April 20, 2021

Move may hit travel sector

The Covid-related travel advisories from different countries, including the US and UK, will further impact the travel industry.

On Tuesday, the US issued a travel advisory against travel to India. “Even fully vaccinated travellers may be at risk of getting and spreading variants and should avoid all travel to India. If you must travel to India, get fully vaccinated before travel,” the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said in an advisory to the US citizens.

Prior to this, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and the UK have imposed travel restrictions to and from India. UK has decided to allow entry to only those who hold a British passport.

Travel agents fear that other countries, too, are likely to follow the suit.

According to Jyoti Mayal, President, TAAI, the decisions taken by the UK and the US were extremely hasty. “It is a global pandemic. The advisories should not single out a particular country. As long as the traveller has a negative RT-PCR test, travel should be allowed. These countries have taken a hasty decision.”

However, on the flip side, recently around 50 passengers on a Vistara flight to Hong Kong had tested positive for Covid-19, which provoked the Hong Kong authorities to ban travel to and from India.

FIR against airlines

The Delhi government has lodged an FIR against four airlines — IndiGo, Vistara, SpiceJet and Air Asia — for not checking properly the RT-PCR negative reports of those coming from Maharashtra and flouting Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) norms.

Bhavik Udeshi, Founder, SoBo Travels, Mumbai-based travel company with a focus on outbound travel, said, “We are losing our prestige as a traveller, in the long-term when we apply for visas this will affect us. This time it will be very difficult for travellers to get the visas because we have neglected the Covid situation in our country.”

Not only that, the possibility of the recovery of leisure inbound travel to India will be delayed. “It isn’t good for the country, and the tourism. It has a negative impact on the country. The flights were choker blocks between these bubbles. We are back to Square one or even worse,” Mayal said.

Udeshi, who started his travel company only recently, feared that “There is no business, and this means that it will not be there for a longer period of time. We do not see a revival in travel happening soon.”

Published on April 20, 2021

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