Visa Crunch

India Extends International Travel, Visa Restrictions Till February End, To Operate Under Air Bubble Arrangement

The international air operations will continue to be operational under the existing air bubble arrangement till February 28, 2022.

In the wake of the continuing Covid-19 scare, the government has decided to further extend the international travel and visa restrictions for another month. As per the revised circular shared by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the current restrictions will continue to apply till February 28, 2022.

With the extension, scheduled international commercial flights will not operate to-and-from India. The international air operations will continue to ply on the basis of the air bubble arrangement till February 28, 2022. All-cargo operations will also continue as usual despite the restrictions.

Although the extension on the travel restriction was expected, the ban on regular international flights is a big setback to the travel and tourism industry. With no international tourism business for the third consecutive tourism season, the travel trade and the industry in the country will continue to face challenges to their survival.

The decision will also demand the government to review and extend the first five-lakh free visa for international tourists announced as part of the relief measures which is about to expire on March 31, 2022.

After a long hiatus of more than 20 months, India had finally decided to resume scheduled international commercial flights from December 15, 2021. But amidst rising fears and panic around the new Covid-19 variant Omicron, the government had to take back its order after making an announcement on November 26 to postpone the move until further orders.

The government had earlier announced restrictions on international travel and visa services till January 31.

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