What do travel bans owing to Omicron mean for Indian students going abroad?


With the new variant of Coronavirus – Omicron categorized as highly transmissible, many countries have imposed travel bans within hours of learning about the virus to prevent a fresh surge of infections.

Several countries around the world imposed bans and travel restrictions on travelers from at-risk nations, who will now be subjected to testing and extra surveillance. Among these at-risk countries include the United Kingdom, South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Israel.

Thankfully so far India is not on the list of at-risk countries but that doesn’t translate into normal international travel for Indian students who are planning to study abroad. So, here is what to expect from top study destinations around the world in the wake of the new coronavirus variant:

United States, Canada, and Brazil – Imposed travel prohibition for southern Africa and other at-risk countries.

Britain, European Union – Flights are suspended indefinitely and travelers returning are required to respect strict quarantine rules.

Russia and Japan – Imposed quarantine rules for people arriving from Eswatini, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana, South Africa, and Lesotho. These travellers will be isolated at government-dedicated accommodations for 10 days.

Australia – The country recently banned flights from nine southern African countries. Indians (or other Non-Australians) who visited South Africa, Zimbabwe, and other at-risk countries in the past fortnight will be barred from Australia for now.

While for students returning to India for the holidays or in general are required to submit their 14-day travel history, upload negative Covid 19 RT-PCR test results, and submit a self-declaration form on the online Air Suvidha portal. And those returning from at-risk nations are mandated to take a test at the airport, followed by home quarantine for 7 days if the reports are negative.

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