India, home to over a billion people, has connected itself back into international travel. Individual tourists have been allowed into India since November 15, following a soft reopening for chartered tourists in October 2012. Since March 2020, the Goa beaches, palaces, and Himalayan slopes have been closed to foreign visitors. Despite Omicron being widely spread, borders seem to be open for the remainder of India during peak tourism season. This is when most of the country experiences very hot days in April & May. After that, it rains until about October.
India is open to UK-based tourists. However, they will need a traditional paper Visa and must be fully vaccinated.
Can I fly to India?
Yes. But there are some caveats. India’s reopening of individual tourist visas applies to British passport holders. However; because of differences between India and Britain over reciprocal rights, Brits cannot currently use India’s more streamline e-visa program valid for the vast majority of countries. They will have to apply instead for a traditional paper Visa. India doesn’t anticipate any Covid variants emerging. While travel procedures can seem complicated, be sure to read the latest information and consider that things might change very quickly. Because there are fewer direct flights now between India and UK than before the pandemic, your choices of travel dates may be less.
Is India safe to visit?
For most parts India, there is no UK Foreign Office advise to avoid travel. The only areas that are advised against all travel are the majority of Jammu Kashmir, right near the border to Pakistan and Wagah with its well-known daily closing ceremony. Manipur is also a part of the warning that all travel should be limited to essential areas. The FCDO issued warnings to all Indians about the threat of terrorism. In context, India’s threat level is the same as France’s. India is a complex country. As such, the safety advisory list is long. It is worthwhile to do research about the particular regions you want to visit as well as any political disturbances.
What are your travel restrictions?
Suspension for international flights
Scheduled international flights are still suspended. The UK and India have a few scheduled flights, but this arrangement may change soon. Book and find out more about airline websites. These sites also provide valuable guidance. The British High Commission does not offer ticketing assistance. The aviation industry is unpredictable and subject to change.
On arrival, all passengers will be subjected to thermal screening by the health authorities. All instructions and screening criteria must be observed. Ministry of Health can provide more details and guidance. Arogya Setu App may require your contact details.
If you’re fully immunised
All travellers should submit a self-declaration via the online Air Suvidha portal before they travel. In lieu of a negative COVID-19 report, you can upload the certificate of completion of the full primary vaccination schedule. This test should be done within 72 hours of embarking on your journey. Also, you must submit a declaration certifying the authenticity of your report. You could be prosecuted if the report is found not to be true. For travel purposes, you shouldn’t use the NHS to test for a negative result in PCR. It is better to schedule a private test.
All travellers arriving in New Del-hi from ‘At Risk countries’ (including the UK) must pre-book their COVID-19 screenings as per the Ministry of Civil Aviation guidelines.
A change in the entry requirements has occurred for all fully vaccinated travellers from abroad, even those who come from the United Kingdom. It took effect on February 14 2022 (00.01 Indian Standard Time). This changes the requirement to remove 7-days of mandatory home quarantine. It is now replaced with 14-day self-monitoring.
A COVID-19PCR test was no longer required for arrivals in India on the 8th day. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has revised the guidelines.
Testing on departure
Coronavirus symptoms may prevent you from being able to travel. Additional screening measures by the authorities must be taken before you leave.
Residents of India
To prevent the movement of people, all borders between East and North India with Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal and Myanmar are closed. This includes returning Indian citizens.
If you aren’t fully vaccinated
The rules you should follow are the same as fully vaccinated passengers.
Residents of India
All borders to Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Myanmar, Nepal in East and North East India that are not closed to movement of people are closed except for returning Indians.
Children and young people
Children will also need to be kept at home for seven day. They will have to be quarantined if they arrive in Delhi Covid-19 positive. Parents/guardians of travellers should know that access to the child/children may not always be possible during isolation. This is applicable to all parts of India.
When I get there, where should my next stop be?
It’s challenging to see India from all angles in one trip. India spans nearly 2,000 miles. From high-altitude glaciers to swaying coconut trees, it is almost 2,000-miles long. Most tourists prefer to stay on one of many traditional circuits. Or combine two or more on a longer itinerary for two to three weeks. A loop from Delhi to Agra, home to the Taj Mahal, and cities such as Jaipur (and Udaipur) are the most well-known routes. Kerala is the perfect holiday destination if you love lusher landscapes or beaches.
Other popular destinations and themes include; riding mountain railways, spotting wildlife in central Madhya Pradesh, and sipping tea in the foothills of the Himalayas. You don’t need to travel far to be able to see the best of India. Though cinematic Mumbai is a mainstay, and spiritual Varanasi is a tourist attraction, Kolkata’s heritage is not as well known as states such as Gujarat or Tamil Nadu. If you’re happy to travel from the big cities, you can find places that appeal to your perceptions of India.
Agra, Uttar Pradesh
Agra’s magic lure of the Taj Mahal makes it an essential stop on India’s Golden Triangle tourists circuit. But the Taj Mahal is not the only attraction. The Agra Fort’s massive red sandstone structure and Akbar’s Mausoleum are equally worth a visit. Kinari Bazaar, which sells everything from clothes and shoes, spices, and marble curiosities, is also worth a look. Make sure to visit the city’s sweet petha (candied oak gourd).
Bengaluru is South India’s largest city. But what it lacks in major attractions, it makes up for in vibrant eating, drinking, and shopping culture. Shopping malls are plentiful, as are craft breweries as well as independent cafes and restaurants. This is especially true in districts like Indiranagar and Koramangala. This Garden City offers plenty of green space, such as Cubbon, Lalbagh Botanical Gardens (Lumbini Gardens), and many other amenities.
Sikhism’s most revered temple, the Golden Temple, is where you should pay your respects. Next, visit Jallianwala Bagh to see a powerful reminder of India’s independence struggle. Later, stop by Amritsar’s Old-City Bazaars for parathas kulchas (assorted flatbreads) at one or more dhabas. Finish the meal with a large glass of creamy Lisi (sweetened Yoghurt beverage).
Jaipur in Rajasthan
Jaipur is rich in historical forts or royal palaces. In the City Palace, Hawa Mahal is a must-see, as are Amber Fort and Hawa Mahal on the outskirts. Ranthambore National Park (located just 190 km from Jaipur) is one of India’s most beautiful places to go on a safari with tigers.
What are the rules when you return to the UK?
For visitors to India, the rules on returning home to the UK remain the same as they are for all other destinations outside the British Isles. Covid-19 tests for fully vaccinated adults are no longer required before or after arriving in the UK. But, both of these are still required if the person is over 17 and not fully vaccinated. Every traveller must also complete the passenger locator Form.