All You Need to Know about Travel to and from India in 2020: COVID Testing, Quarantine, Exemption Categories

The COVID19 health emergency has disrupted international travel to such a great extent that air travel is subject to many regulations and restrictions. With airlines resuming services and countries reopening airports amid the pandemic, international travel is getting complicated. From booking air tickets to boarding flights, every step entails certain regulations for travelers. In the current scenario of the changing norms related to air travel, you need to be well-informed about your travel eligibility, the destination country’s entry requirements, and the operating airline’s SOP.

This article is part of our continued series on booking Air India’s VBM flights and air travel bubble flights to and from India. Indian Eagle, a most trusted travel-booking partner of Indian Diaspora, is committed to making air travel simpler and easier.

air India VBM flights 2020, United Airlines flights, Air Bubble flights

Picture Credit: English-learn-online.com

Foreign nationals, including OCI and PIO cardholders, can travel to India

In a major development, the Government of India relaxed visa and travel restrictions for all foreign nationals, including OCI and PIO cardholders, in order to facilitate their travel to India on air bubble and VBM flights. OCI cardholders’ travel to India is no more subject to any category-based eligibility unlike before. All foreign nationals including those of Indian origin can book flights to India for any purpose, except tourism. The Ministry of Home Affairs announced plans to restore all existing visas to India, barring tourist visa, with immediate effect. Reportedly, foreign nationals can apply for a medical visa and can travel to India for medical treatment/emergency.

Also, OCI cardholders below 20 and above 50 years of age, with renewed passports but old OCI cards, can travel to India given the further relaxation of visa and travel restrictions. June 30, 2021 is the new deadline for them to get OCI cards reissued. The deadline for the PIO to OCI card conversion has also been extended through December 2021.

No registration for flights to and from India  

Good news for international travelers flying into and out of India! Now booking VBM flights and air bubble flights is simpler and easier. India’s Ministry of Home Affairs has eased the regulations for passengers of flights under the Vande Bharat Mission and the air transport bubble arrangement. Those planning to travel on Air India’s VBM flights from abroad need not register with the Indian Embassy or consulates in the countries where they are currently residing or stranded. Similarly, travelers booking air bubble flights, inbound or outbound, are no longer required to apply to the Ministry of Civil Aviation. Providing their details, including the places of departure and arrival, to the airlines operating their flights to and from India will be enough. The Ministry of Civil Aviation has designated airlines operating VBM and air bubble flights as agencies for registering passenger details.

Indians with a B1/B2 visa to USA

Many people are looking to know if Indians can travel to USA on a visitor/tourist visa in COVID19 times. Yes, Indian passport holders with a valid B1/B2 visa can travel to USA from India. However, not all airlines are allowed to fly them to USA. Currently, Indian nationals can travel only on Air India and United Airlines flights to USA. They cannot travel on US-bound air bubble flights being operated by other airlines.

Quarantine rules for people traveling with kids to India

The Ministry of Civil Aviation has scrapped institutional quarantine for certain categories of inbound travelers from abroad. People traveling with kids below 10 years are eligible for exemption from institutional quarantine upon arrival in India. In case they are found symptomatic in thermal screening upon arrival, they will be shifted to the onsite COVID-19 testing facility at the port of entry or the nearest healthcare facility for a test. FYI, major Indian airports have got a COVID testing facility. Read more about quarantine norms in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru and other India cities.

Onsite COVID-19/RT-PCR test at Indian airports

Online booking of slots for COVID-19/RT-PCR tests at major Indian airports is available. Those traveling to India from abroad, without a negative RT-PCR test report, can book a slot for onsite testing at least one hour before their scheduled arrival at a port of entry in India. It takes maximum 4-6 hours to get the result. If the report is negative, they can continue onward travel to the final destination from the port of entry.

Read more about onsite COVID testing at major Indian airports.

Lufthansa’s COVID-19 test policy

In September 2020, Lufthansa will be operating 160 round-trip flights to India. In the September schedule of air bubble flights to India, Lufthansa will serve Bengaluru, Mumbai and New Delhi. India’s continued air transport bubble arrangement with the United States and Germany has facilitated the September schedule of Lufthansa flights to India from USA and Canada via Frankfurt or Munich.

A negative COVID-19 test is not mandatory for boarding Lufthansa flights. Only asymptomatic people are allowed to travel on Lufthansa though. However, Lufthansa requires passengers to carry a medical certificate and a negative COVID test report in case they will not be able to keep wearing masks on board due to medical reasons. The conditional exemption to wearing masks during the flight will take effect from September 1 and apply to passengers of Lufthansa group airlines. The COVID-19 test must be taken within 48 hours of undertaking the journey.

Virgin Atlantic flights to India

Air bubble flights to India scheduled through September and October include Virgin Atlantic flights to Delhi and Mumbai starting September 2 and 17 respectively. Virgin Atlantic will be operating New York to India air bubble flights through London, and Delta Airlines will provide connections to New York from other US cities for Virgin Atlantic’s India flights. Virgin Atlantic offers a change of date fee waiver twice for flight rescheduling until September 2020.

Virgin Atlantic’s free COVID insurance policy

A complimentary COVID19 insurance is available on booking Virgin Atlantic flight tickets. The insurance will provide coverage worth £500,000 (over Rs 4.7 crore) for emergency medical and transport expenses related to COVID19. The policy applies to both new and existing bookings for Virgin Atlantic flights scheduled between August 24, 2020 and March 21, 2021. Check Virgin Atlantic’s COVID19 insurance coverage details and eligibility norms for travelers.

Flights to Kolkata from Delhi and Mumbai resume

Kolkata Airport is open to flights from Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai and Ahmedabad in September 2020. It is good news for Kolkata-bound international travelers as most VBM flights and air bubble flights are scheduled to arrive at Delhi and Mumbai. If travelers hold single PNRs for VBM or air bubble flights to Delhi or Mumbai with onward domestic connection to Kolkata, they will face institutional quarantine in Kolkata, not at the gateway destination. Three weekly flights from Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Ahmedabad to Kolkata will be allowed except on September 7, 11 and 12.

India’s new no-fly rule for COVID19 travel

In a zero-tolerance approach to ensuring COVID protection on board, India’s aviation regulator directs airlines to put travelers refusing to cover their face on the no-fly list. If a passenger does not comply with the obligation of wearing a mask or face covering, he/she is likely to be denied boarding or deplaned. They may also be barred from flying for a certain period of time. The crew members of a flight reserve the right to decide who to put on the no-fly list. Several major airlines, including Delta Airlines, have the same ‘no-fly’ policy for passengers amid the COVID19 pandemic. The consequences of ending up on a no-fly list may include a lifetime ban on flying in India.

New COVID19 testing facility at Newark Airport    

Newark Liberty International Airport has got a COVID19 testing facility for airport employees, airline crew, and passengers. Located on Level 3 in Terminal B, the COVID testing facility has been operating for the past seven days and is currently accessible to the EWR airport workers and the airline crew. Arranged by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Newark Liberty Airport’s COVID19 testing facility comprises six screening rooms and can test up to 350 individuals a day. Both antibody testing and PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing are available at the EWR airport facility. Reportedly, the on-airport COVID testing facility will be available to passengers soon.

COVID19 test for travelers flying out of India

COVID19 testing facilities are underway for travelers flying out of India. A COVID19 test report will ensure hassle-free international travel for outbound flyers. Entry to some countries, including the UAE is permitted for foreign travelers carrying a negative COVID test certificate. In response to Hong Kong’s ban on Air India flights after 11 travelers from Delhi tested positive on arrival, the government of India is considering a proposal to ask international travelers to get tested for COVID19 prior to their flight out of the country. Passengers of Emirates flights need to carry a COVID19 test report with negative status.

Hot meals and inflight entertainment are back on board

India’s civil aviation ministry has issued new directives for airlines operating domestic and international flights under the Vande Bharat Mission and the air transport bubble arrangement. As per the new SOP, passengers can be served pre-packed meals, snacks and beverages aboard domestic flights depending on the flight time and the policy of the operating airlines. Airlines operating international flights are also allowed to serve hot meals with limited beverages on board amidst precautions against COVID19. Airlines are directed to ensure that completely disposable trays, plates, cutlery, and containers are used on board. In all travel classes, flight attendants will be serving beverages in single-use disposable units. In-flight beverage-pouring service will continue to remain suspended. They will wear a new set of gloves for serving every meal.

Since international travel resumed under the Vande Bharat Mission, inflight entertainment had remained banned. The latest directives allow inflight entertainment on domestic and international flights. Airlines need to follow certain regulations concerning inflight entertainment, like providing disposable earphones or disinfecting earphones before every flight. With the lifting of ban on inflight entertainment, family travellers won’t have a tough time controlling kids on board.

152 thoughts on “All You Need to Know about Travel to and from India in 2020: COVID Testing, Quarantine, Exemption Categories

    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Binu! Qatar Airways does not have approval to fly passengers from USA to India via Doha. There is no confirmation yet. Please watch out this space or our Facebook page for latest updates.

      Reply
    • Mohammed Ashraf

      I s Air Suvidha Registration required for travelling from USA to India in Air India Air Bubble flight- Chicago-Delhi-Kochi flight

      Reply
      • indianeagle Post author

        Hi Mohammed! Yes, filling out a self-declaration form in the Air Suvidha is mandatory for all travelers flying to India.

        Reply
  1. Girish

    What are my best options to fly to Chennai from US ?
    1. I am so far healthy and without any symptoms. PCR test within 96 hours currently in Oregon seems far stretched.
    2. I want to avoid double quarantine in port of entry and final destination and just do the destination quarantine
    Thanks

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Girish! You won’t face institutional quarantine at the port of entry, if your itinerary includes domestic travel to Chennai from the port of entry in a single PNR. FYI, Tamil Nadu issued new guidelines for travelers from abroad.

      Reply
  2. Ed

    My family are in India on medical visa. They have now completed treatment and can now travel back to Nigeria. Nigeria international airports will be opened on 5th September 2020.
    Please confirm
    1. if they can Book and join Emirates flight from India to Nigeria transiting in Dubai
    2. Is there any scheduled Emirates flight from Ahmedabad in September

    Reply
  3. Narendra

    How About American / British Airways. I am planning to book DFW-LHR-BLR flight for Sep 5th.

    Reply
  4. Narendra

    Can I book Luftansa flights to travel from US to India via frankfurt. I see the you have mentioned that we can travel in Luftansa. Can you please confirm

    India’s continued air transport bubble arrangement with the United States and Germany has facilitated the September schedule of Lufthansa flights to India from USA and Canada via Frankfurt or Munich.

    Reply
  5. Bhupendra Patel

    We are flying on September 10th from Ahmedabad to Delhi to New York by Air India.will you please let us know if we will be required to take COVID-19 tests within 48 hours of departure.Thank you.

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Bhupendra! Those flying out of India don’t need to take COVID19 test. No test is mandatory for outbound international travelers. However, only asymptomatic people will be allowed to board international flights. Make sure you are found asymptomatic (without fever, cold and cough) in thermal screening at Ahmedabad or Delhi airport.

      Reply
  6. Sunil

    What about Turkish airlines. Is Turkish airline got permission to fly? And do they need a COVID 19 test negative report before flying when some wears mask?

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Sunil! Turkish Airlines can fly people between Turkey and India, not between USA and India.

      Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Sri! Yes, OCI card holders can travel to India. Quarantine protocols for travelers from abroad depend on your port of entry and final destination in India. Yes, most Indian states including Karnataka, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Odisha have scrapped institutional quarantine for asymptomatic travelers from abroad.

      Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Dilip! Yes, Indian nationals and OCI card holders can travel on British Airways to India.

      Reply
      • Parag Nathaney

        Can Indian nationals book travel on British Airways from India to US? Or the options are limited to Air India or United? This query is concerning potential travel in mid to late November?

        Reply
        • indianeagle Post author

          Hi Parag! Air India and United Airlines are the only options for Indian nationals. If an Indian national is the spouse of a foreign national/US citizen, she/he can travel on British Airways and Air France-Delta from India to USA. Late in November 2020, the scenario may change for better. While booking your travel, you can call our travel advisors at 1-800-615-3969 for more contemporary information and suitable itineraries. Thank you!

          Reply
          • Tarun

            Hi Indianeagle,

            On the subject of indian nationals travelling via British Airways, can indian nationals travel to india without issues? Or would they be stopped in heathrow?

            Secondly, my spouse and I are travelling back to the US in mid december, however, we are on two different tickets on the same flight and she is an indian national, would a marriage certificate be enough to convince airline staff that we are indeed married? Or would they require more proof?

  7. Sharvari

    My parents have green card , currently in Mumbai , which airlines is their best option to fly to US ?

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Sharvari! They can travel on Air India, United airlines, Lufthansa and British Airways.

      Reply
  8. Falguni

    I would like to travel from SF to Ahmedabad via Delhi by mid September through United air bubble flight. Do i need to quarantine in Delhi or it would be in Ahmebadad directly? Is covid test required to travel?

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Falguni! First, COVID test is not mandatory to travel to India. It is optional. Carrying a COVID test report with negative status will help you avoid institutional quarantine on arrival in India. Second, you have a single PNR for the entire itinerary from SFO to Ahmedabad, you will face institutional quarantine in Ahmedabad, not at the port of entry. Hope your queries are addressed satisfactorily.

      Reply
  9. Shreekant

    I in July 20 n Air India from Vadodara to Delhi to New York having one air ticket reference. Can I have similar facility of having single ticket fence to go Cnk from Newark or New York to Vadodara. Please suggest name of Air lines which gives such facility. I intend too. travel by September end.,

    Reply
  10. Deetlev

    Hi Indianeagle,

    I am travelling to Bangalore directly from Paris on 18th September.
    Do I need to register with Air Suvidha or anything else?

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Ashwin! Travel eligibility for Indians with B1/B2 visa is currently restricted, except on Air India and United Airlines. As per the information available with us, only Indian nationals holding green cards or Canadian permanent residency or any other eligible visa are permitted on Lufthansa flights if he/she is a spouse of a foreign national. FYI, Mexico is not part of India’s air travel bubble arrangements with the US, Canada and Germany. Be advised to contact and check with Lufthansa Airlines.

      Reply
  11. Pramod

    Hi,

    We had a death in the family in Lucknow and plan to travel in early October from NYC -> Delhi -> Lucknow. I am on H1 and my wife is on J1. Would it be possible for us travel on Lufthansa/United? Also, do you know if quarantine in Lucknow is mandatory even if we don’t have symptoms? I plan to stay in Lucknow for 3-4 days and go to Mumbai where my home is for 15 days. Would you know if I would be forced to quarantine in Lucknow for that long?

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Pramod! We’re very sorry about the mishap in your family. It is recommended that you book United flight for your travel to India, because Indian government has asked European airlines to stop flying people between India and USA. You can seek exemption from institutional quarantine upon arrival in India. Be advised to check https://www.indianeagle.com/travelbeats/air-suvidha-inbound-travelers-india/ for details. In the last two weeks, quarantine norms have been eased for travelers from abroad.

      Reply
  12. AV

    Hi, Did the Indian Government issue a statement stating that you do not have to register on the Indian Embassy website (US)? We booked directly with AI and the flights are on the phase 6 VBM schedule.

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi AV! The Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Civil Aviation revised the travel advisory for people flying from abroad, scrapping registration with the Indian missions abroad early this month.

      Reply
  13. Vandana

    Hi,

    Full IATA Information
    Lufthansa displays this information provided by IATA only as a courtesy and accepts no responsibility for this third-party information.

    1. Flights to India are suspended until 30 September 2020.
    – This does not apply to relief, repatriation and humanitarian flights.

    As per Lufthansa it mentions that all flights to India are suspended till September 30th. Is this true?

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Vandana! All normal/regular flights to India continue to be suspended until 30 September 2020. Currently, Lufthansa is operating repatriation, relief flights to India as part of the India-Germany air bubble transport agreement.

      Reply
  14. Jasani jogesh

    I have B1/B2 visa, to meet my grand child born on Nov. 2019, can I travel to USA , Chicago,if I can than which airlines will be allowed

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hello Mr Jasani! Hearty congratulations! Yes, you can travel to visit your family in the US. You can travel on Air India or United Airlines. You can book tickets on IndianEagle.com or call our travel advisories at 1-800-615-3969. You will be given all information related to your travel.

      Reply
  15. Arjun

    Hi,

    I have to travel From US to Bangalore, India on a family emergency (Death). Are there any guidelines or exemptions for these cases as I want to avoid quarantine.
    Do I need to take a COVID test in US or it’s waived off. If so, do they ask for any documentation for death?
    Please advise on a suitable option in this case as I need to plan for a return trip back to US.

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Arjun! We’re very sorry about your loss. FYI, Karnataka has scrapped institutional quarantine for international travelers arriving at Bengaluru Airport. Besides, you fall in one of the categories (death in the family) eligible for exemption from institutional quarantine. Traveling to Bengaluru is much easier these days if you are directly flying to Bengaluru. Irrespective of whether you carry a negative COVID test report from the US, you will undergo thermal screening on arrival in India. If you are found symptomatic in thermal screening, you will be isolated and sent for testing. Please read on https://www.indianeagle.com/travelbeats/bengaluru-airport-guidelines-international-flyers/ for further information.

      Reply
  16. Manny

    I am US citizen with OCI. Can I travel on British Airways from Boston to Bengaluru and back?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Manny! Yes, you can. British Airways is allowing OCI cardholders to travel on its flights between USA and India via London. Please note the rules and regulations may be revised anytime in the current volatile scenario.

      Reply
  17. Shyam

    Hi Indianeagle,
    Can I fly in Emirates from ORD (Chicago) – DXB (dubai) – Hyderabad? Are they operating flights on this route? Do I need any special approvals for this itinerary? My family comprises of H1B (stamped) and F-1 OPT visa

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Shyam! Yes, you can travel on Emirates from ORD to Hyderabad this month. No special approval or registration is required. Please note you will be allowed to board Emirates flights on showing a negative COVID-19 test report at the port of origin. You can book the best Chicago-Hyderabad itinerary at the cheapest fare on IndianEagle.com.

      Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Preeti! You can’t travel on British Airways, with a valid B1/B2 visa. Air India and United Airlines are the only options for you.

      Reply
      • Bal Chandra Verma

        मेरा 2 अक्टूबर को शिकागो से नई दिल्ली की फ्लाइट वन्दे भारत में बुक है । क्या COVID19 test की सुविधा शिकागो एअरपोर्ट पर है।

        Reply
        • indianeagle Post author

          Namaste Mr. Verma! Chicago Airport par COVID testing ki facility available nahi hai. Aur, apko COVID test report apke flight se 72 gante pehle upload karna hai.

          Reply
  18. Ravie T

    Hi Indian Eagle,
    We are US Citizens having OCI. Planning to Visit Chennai – India by End of October 2020. Need to know what is the best available options to avoid any quarantine.

    Also my friend who has H1B wants to travel to Chennai and return to US. He has Stamped Visa till next year end.
    does he have any issues returning back to US.
    Please let us know the best available options.

    Thanks
    Ravi

    Reply
  19. somrita dey

    Hi.. I will be travelling to kolkata from chicago in October. I am aware of the Negative RT-PCR report to avoid institutional quarantine?my 1st question is.. is the institutional quarantine is in Delhi or Kolkata?
    and since they asked to take the test within 92 hrs and submit the report within 72 hrs, which is quite difficult since results take a minimum of 3 days.. can i upload it in air subidha after 72 hrs ? In that case what do i do other than carrying the report with me in the flight? thank you

    Reply
  20. Aarti Pade

    I am flying mumbai – newark- los angeles by united airlines on 25 sept .. do i need to produce covid negative test report ? I am visiting my daughter at Los angeles what ki d of letter is required fron her ?

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Aarti! There is no need to carry a negative COVID-19 test report for traveling from India to USA.

      Reply
  21. Ankur

    Hi,

    i am planning to to travel india in october 17th and return back on 28th november. i see flight on air india website and other website also so the question is has air india started booking for november ? and can i book now ?

    thanks,
    Ankur

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Ankur! Air India’s current schedule will continue til October 24, 2020.

      Reply
  22. Jaidev

    Hi, I am booked to travel in a day from Mumbai to San Francisco via a transfer flight from London Heathrow. I am flying British Airways, I have a UK passport and a US Green card. I am now hearing from British Airways that I wont be allowed to fly this path since I must be on a direct flight from India to USA, that I must us one of the ‘air bubble’ carriers??? Is this true?

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Jaidev! Since you hold a UK passport, you can travel on British Airways to the UK from India. Only foreign nationals and their spouses from India are allowed to transit through the UK. If you are destined to San Francisco, not the UK, you may not be allowed to board BA flight from India. Please be advised to contact British Airways and check with them your travel eligibility.

      Reply
  23. Gur

    Hi, I’m travelling to New Delhi, India via direct flight from SFO, USA on October 31 and reaching New Delhi on Nov 1. Do I need to get RT PCR test done here in the states and bring my results with me and be exempt from testing at new delhi? or will i still need to take a test when i reach new delhi? What are other requirements to consider while traveling from USA to India.

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hello! There are two ways you can seek exemption from institutional quarantine upon arrival at Delhi – carrying a negative RT-PCR test report from the US or getting tested for COVID-19 at Delhi airport. You need to take a test 96 hours prior to your scheduled flight from the port of departure in the USA and upload the test report (with negative status) to the Air Suvidha section of Delhi Airport website. And you need to carry a copy of the test report. If it is not possible for you to take the test in the USA, you can book a slot online for the onsite testing at Delhi airport. For more information, please visit https://www.indianeagle.com/travelbeats/onsite-covid19-test-inbound-flyers-india/

      Reply
    • Ankur

      Gur,

      have you booked a return ticket or one way and is it air india?

      i am also plannig to go you can see my question 3 question above you/

      thanks,
      Ankur

      Reply
  24. Snehal

    Hi ,we are planning to travel to India,but are confused about the travel restrictions in the case of who is allowed to travel..We stay in USA on a L1 visa which is valid till 2022.We wanted to know that will we be eligible to travel via the air bubble flights or are just the stranded individuals allowed.
    Can you help us with it?
    Thanks in advance

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Snehal! Currently, Indian nationals (stranded or not), OCI cardholders and Green cardholders can travel to India on VBM and air bubble flights from the US.

      Reply
  25. Santosh

    Hi,
    I’m traveling from Bangalore to New York on L2 visa. Am I allowed to travel with all airlines?

    Reply
  26. Santosh

    Hi,

    My wife is traveling from Bangalore to New York via Paris (Air France/Delta Airlines) with a L2 visa. There is confusion on whether she will be allowed to enter the US as she will transit through Paris. Please advise.

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Santosh! Yes, she can travel on Air France-Delta codeshare flights and transit through Paris for the uSA.

      Reply
  27. Vaidhy nagarajan

    Hi, g’day. I am an Australian citizen. I am currently in Coimbatore, TN. I have approved ESTA to visit USA under Visa Waiver program . I want to go to USA from India with my ESTA , spend some time with my brother-in-law there in US and then go to Australia from USA. Can I do that?

    Reply
  28. Suhas

    I want to travel from Newark, USA to Mumbai, India in December 2020 for a wedding. Do I need to apply for e-Visa to fly or is there any other requirement for me to fly to Mumbai?

    Also. I turned 50 in Sep2020. My OCI is stamped on my old USA passport and the recent USA passport does not have OCI stamped. The OCI regulation requires me to renew my OCI when I renew my USA passport after age 50. Can I still travel with my OCI card, old USA passport with OCI stamp, and the new USA passport without OCI stamp? Or is it just safe to get e-visa from Indian consulate in the USA? Thanks.

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hello Sir! Those above 50 years were allowed to travel to India with new passports and the OCI stamp on their old passports till June 30, 2020. We are not sure whether the relief has been extended or not. Please, be advised to check with the nearest consulate in the US. As far as we know, you can also travel with an e-visa to India.

      Reply
  29. Vaish

    My parents on tourist visa are traveling to the US in November. I heard Etihad airways have started operating flights from India to the US.
    Can they travel with Etihad airways and reach US. Please advise.

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Vaish! Indians on a tourist visa to USA can travel only on Air India and United Airlines from India.

      Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Badal! US citizens without OCI cards are still restricted from entering India if there is no compelling reason for their visit. You may need to apply for an emergency visa to India. Please be advised to check with the nearest consulate or the Indian Embassy.

      Reply
  30. Venkat

    Hi we would be travelling to Chennai from Germany this month and our final destination is Nellore in Andhra pradesh. We would be travelling through road from Chennai to Nellore…. I would like to know

    1. Will we be quarantined in Chennai or we can do our home quarantine in Nellore.

    Reply
  31. Amit

    Hello,
    My family is planning to travel from India to USA in Air India. The route is KOLKATA-DELHI-CHICAGO. Do you know if they need to have a COVID test certificate before they can fly ?

    Thank You.

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Amit! There is no such requirement. Travelers don’t need any COVID-19 test certificate/report to travel to the States. Don’t worry!

      Reply
  32. Rakesh

    Hello,

    I am planning to travel to Hyd from Newark in October and will return back to US in Dec of 2020. My US visa is stamped till May 2021. Will I have any issue while returning back to USA? as my visa stamping will be valid only for 5 more months..

    Thank you!

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Rakesh! As per the information available, a visa to USA should be valid for 6 months in the current circumstances. Be advised to check with the Indian Consulate or Embassy.

      Reply
  33. shailender

    hi,
    can I travel from USA to India and back to USA from India on British airways?
    I am on F1 student visa.

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Shailender! You can travel on British Airways from USA to India. Be advised to check with British Airways whether you can transit through London Heathrow. For sure, you can’t travel on British Airways from India to USA. For return to USA, Air India and United Airlines are the only options.

      Reply
  34. Krupa Patel

    Hello Indianeagle,

    My aunt is here on tourist visa since Feb 2020. She had return ticket on Air India for August 2020. Due to COVID, we have filed for extension. But now she wants to return to Ahmedabad from Newark in end of Oct or early Nov. What are her options in terms of traveling? Also does she need to have Covid testing done here in order to avoid quarantining at the port of entry? Thank you.

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Krupa! In order to be exempted from institutional quarantine at the port of entry/final destination, she needs to have COVID-19 test done in the US, upload the test report in the Air Suvidha section of Delhi airport website and carry the report. In order to book the best flight with short travel time for her, you can contact our travel advisories at 1-800-615-3969.

      Reply
  35. Vidya

    Hi,
    I am planning to book a round trip flight on Delta (Air france codeshare) which goes from ATL to Paris to BLR on last week of October and returns in reverse in December. Are there any restrictions that prevent me from taking this flight? Will i face any difficulty in boarding the connecting flight in Paris?

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Vidya! If you are an Indian national with a B1/B2 visa or green card, you can travel on Delhi-Air France codeshare flights to India from USA. But you are not permitted to travel on the same flight from India to USA.

      Reply
  36. HN Vyas

    Hello IndiaEagle team,

    Thanks for all the faqs and helping the community for clarifying their doubts in this difficult time.
    We are on tourist visa in US and looking for a Delta Air France flight combination to travel back to India. Jax to Atl, Atl to CDG Paris and Air france Paris to Mumbai. Is it a valid route?

    While filling the self declaration form and exemption to quarantine at home, which Flight number i have to mention. ( Paris to Mumbai or Atlanta to Paris) We will take PCR test within 72 hours of boarding first flight from Jax, Florida

    Thank you.

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Jigar! It is not advisable to mention the number of Air France’s Paris-Mumbai flight on the self-declaration and exemption forms, as the RT-PCR test will be done in Florida and the report will be issued from Florida. Yes, it is a valid route for your travel.

      Reply
  37. Wing Commander Nunna Ramesh Kumar

    My self and wife are travelling back to india on 06December 2020 on indian passport . Our Grand children 1yerar and 4 years old who are with American passport and OCI card holders are travelling with us. British Airways issued confirmed Flight tickets to all four of us since kids have OCI. Will my Grand children Face any problem while Transiting at Heathrow Airport to Board flight to Hyderabad. The British airways website is vague and mentions of only BritishPassport Holders with OCI will be allowed. Pl Clarify
    Thank you

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hello Sir! Yes, you and your grandchildren can travel on British Airways and transit through London Heathrow.

      Reply
  38. Nimisha Jose

    My parents are traveling from USA to COCHIN via DELHI. Do they need to submit negative pcr test certificate in DELHI airport or is it enough for them to do home qurantine for 14 days at destination state?

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Nimisha! If the entire itinerary is ticketed in a single PNR, your parents are not bound to submit a negative RT-PCR test report at Delhi airport. They will be stamped for home quarantine in their destination before they board the domestic flight from Delhi airport.

      Reply
  39. Vick

    Hi, Planning a round trip from NY JFK to Hyderabad Rajiv Gandhi in November on British airways via London Heathrow. I am US citizen and have an OCI card. Can I return on British airways from Hyd to JFK via Heathrow?
    Thank you.

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Vick! Since you are a foreign national (US passport holder), you are eligible to travel from India to the US via London Heathrow.

      Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Sona! Those traveling from India to USA do not to have a COVID-19 test report. There is no such protocol in the US.

      Reply
  40. Bea

    We will be traveling from NJ, USA to Delhi and onward to chennai through a domestic flight.
    Is it enough if we do a RT-PCR test in NJ, and home quarantine in Chennai ? Thanks.

    Reply
  41. Ninad

    HI IndianEagle,

    I want to get my Parents to Seattle, USA from Hyderabad. I see British airways has options to travel. I am not able to figure out if they are allowed to travel to USA with British Airways or not. Could you please confirm. They will travel on valid B1/B2 visa.

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Ninad! Indians with a B1/B2 visa can travel only on Air India and United Airlines from India to USA.

      Reply
  42. Ninad

    Hi IndianEagle,

    Thanks a lot for your response. When I search on Ait India or United Airlines I find it difficult to sea the flights. I always get the search results as no matching flights. So I am confused about those.

    Reply
  43. Mahesh

    Hi, Traveling to Hyderabad India next month with RT-PCR TEST report and returning back in 10 days. At Hyd airport I believe they stamp my hand with 14 days home quarantine. With the stamp on my hand, do they allow me to return in 10 days at Hyd airport?
    Thank you.

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Mahesh! If you carry confirmed tickets for your return flights and show upon arrival at Hyderabad Airport, there won’t be any problem.

      Reply
  44. SK

    Can I fly into Hyderabad via British Airways from the US? Can I apply for exempt from institutional quarantine? I am an Indian national with a US business visa.

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Santosh! Yes, you can apply for exemption from institutional quarantine if you fall in any of the eligible categories or you carry a negative RT-PCR test report from the port of origin. Or, you can take the test at Hyderabad Airport. It takes 3-5 hours to get the result. You can exit the airport if the result is negative. There is lounge service for those waiting for the COVID-19 test result at the airport.

      Reply
      • Ashish K

        I’m planning to Fly to Hyderabad from US in December and return back in Jan. I have booked my flights through British Airways. I’m on F1 VISA. Will there be an issue for me to travel back? I’ll carry Negative test report while coming into India.

        Reply
        • indianeagle Post author

          Hi Ashish! We heard that British Airways is canceling reservations, except for those stranded in the USA. If you are stranded in the US, and that’s why you are traveling to India, then you are safe to travel on British Airways. Be advised to contact British Airways and recheck with them.

          Reply
  45. Shailja

    Hi IndianEagle,

    I am traveling from USA to Delhi on dec 2nd with Air India. I am F1 student and returning back to India after completion of my studies. Is their any extra legal requirements to travel in COVID-19 rather than carrying negative test results from USA?

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Shalija! There is no legal requirement. Regulations for travel to India have been relaxed.

      Reply
  46. Hinal

    Hi Indian Eagle,

    My parents are on B1/B2 visa. They will be travelling from India(Mumbai) to USA( Los Angeles). I am looking at flights by United. They have flights operating under star alliance. Will it be okay to travel in carriers under this alliance ? Can they enter Usa via Canada or can you suggest any other country for a stop over before entering USA?

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Hinal! Indians having a B1/B2 visa can only travel on United Airlines and Air India flights from India. They cannot transit through any country. For better guidance, you can call our travel advisors at 1-800-615-3969.

      Reply
  47. Ramesh

    Hi Indian Eagles,

    I am planning to travel to India in the end of Nov and return back to USA by the end of December. I have L1b visa valid until Jan 2022. Will I have any problem planning the travel and which airlines should I take?

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Ramesh! There won’t be any problem for your travel to India and return travel to the United States. Currently, a few airlines are operating between USA and India. There are several airlines you can travel on from USA to India. During return, Air India and United Airlines are the only options for Indian passport holders. Please be advised to contact our travel advisors at 1-800-615-3969 for convenient booking, suitable itinerary and all the information related to your travel. Thank you!

      Reply
  48. Mohammed Ashraf

    Is it necessary to register in Air Suvidha for me to travel from USA to India in Air India Air Bubble flight-[ Chicago-Delhi-Kochi-] during the end of November 2020.

    Reply
  49. RAZIA ASHRAF

    I am planning to travel from USA to India [CHICAGO-DELHI-KOCHI] during the end of November 2020. While entering the Air India website for booking it is seen that ,under Air Suvidha one registration form with an undertaking and another self reporting form are seen to be filled up.Is it necessary to fill both the forms before booking the ticket.I presume,as per the guidelines given in the beginning of this article,no registration prior to booking the ticket is required and only self reporting form only need to be filled after booking the ticket.Please let me know the correct procedure.

    Reply
  50. S Malhotra

    I am a US CITIZEN with an OCI card- visiting my mother in Chandigarh, India from Washington DC on October 30th, please advise if I should get my COVID test done on October 26th or October 27th? Please note that it takes almost 3-4 days to get the result.
    Thank you!

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hello Malhotra ji! You need to get tested 96 hours prior to your flight from the port of origin in the USA.

      Reply
      • Godzilla Borland

        Sorry, these guidelines are confusing. Just above you stated “Hi Nimisha! If the entire itinerary is ticketed in a single PNR, your parents are not bound to submit a negative RT-PCR test report at Delhi airport. They will be stamped for home quarantine in their destination before they board the domestic flight from Delhi airport.”

        Which one is correct? Can you travel without a negative RT-PCR test from the US? If you don’t have a test, will they place you in quarantine at the destination?

        Reply
        • indianeagle Post author

          Hello Godzilla! It is not mandatory to travel to India with a negative RT-PCR test from the US, except the scenario wherein you travel on Emirates Airlines and your destination is Tamil Nadu. A COVID-19 negative certificate is mandatory for those traveling to Chennai and traveling on Emirates. You can take a test in the US and carry the negative test report to get exempted from institutional quarantine if there is any in your state in India. FYI, Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have scrapped institutional quarantine for asymptomatic international arrivals.

          Reply
          • Ronald

            Hello. What about Goa? Do I need to take RT-PCR test from US for travelling to Goa? I am planning to fly United IAD to LHR to GOI. (The LHR to GOI leg is operated by Air India).

  51. Vishnu

    Hi,

    My wife has a valid H4 visa and wanting to know if she can travel on British Airways from Bangalore to Atlanta during the month of November 2020.

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Vishnu! Spouses of US citizens can travel on British Airways from India to USA.

      Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Syed! No test report is required for travel from India to USA. There is no such protocol for outbound travelers from India. it is optional for them to get tested before travel.

      Reply
  52. MURALI S

    Hi

    I am planning to travel india in January via united airlines..
    My question is what documents required at frankfurt airport
    Covid negative report and what all required??

    Also i am planning to return to us on same route frankfurt to usa
    So do i need any additional reports to be submitted at frankfurt while coming back??

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Murali! If it is possible for you to take a test in the US and carry the result (negative), you will be on a safer side on the way to India and the way back from India. Please note, you may need to register with the Indian Embassy in Germany for transit through Frankfurt.

      Reply
  53. Veeru

    Is there any flight from India to USA that made mandatory COVID test negative?
    I would like to to bring my parents but waiting for mandatory negative COVID tested passengers only.

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Veeru! No airline other than Emirates requires passengers to have a COVID test certificate for their travel to USA from India. FYI, B1/B2 visa holders are not permitted to travel on Emirates. They can travel only on Air India and United Airlines.

      Reply
  54. SS PRATAP

    I came to US on B-2 Visa on10 March this year and supposed to go back to India on 2 Sep 2020. Due to the present situation I have applied for my stay for 6 months , sofar I did not get any reply from authorities. Now if I want to go back in Nov end or 1 week of Dec can I book ticket to Visakhapatnamvia Delhi and can I get home quorantine in Visakhapatnam by Air India flight with out Covid test in US before 96 hours as per rules?

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hello Mr. Pratap! Yes, you can travel to Visakhapatnam via Delhi. In Andhra Pradesh, 7-day institutional quarantine is mandatory for those without a negative COVID-19 test report. No matter what airline you travel on, institutional quarantine is compulsory. FYI, you need to obtain clearance for travel to Andhra Pradesh from the AP government’s Spandana website. Be advised to contact our travel advisors at 1-800-615-3969 for hassle-free booking of your travel and the information related to your travel.

      Reply
  55. Tarun

    Hi Indianeagle,

    On the subject of indian nationals travelling via British Airways, can indian nationals travel to india without issues? Or would they be stopped in heathrow?

    Secondly, my spouse and I are travelling back to the US in mid december, however, we are on two different tickets on the same flight and she is an indian national, would a marriage certificate be enough to convince airline staff that we are indeed married? Or would they require more proof?

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Tarun! Yes, Indian nationals can travel on British Airways for onward journey to India. If both of you are Indian nationals, you can’t take your return travel on British Airways. We did not get why you need to prove your marriage to the airline staff. Please be a little more specific.

      Reply
  56. Sainath

    I’m on H1B visa in US and my wife is on H4 visa (obtained recently) in Hyderabad, India. Would she be able to travel to US through British Airways ? I’m able to see flights Hyd to Seattle on the website but I’m uncertain whether I can book it for my wife.

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Sainath! No, she can’t travel on British Airways from India to USA. Only spouses of US citizens can travel on British Airways from India.

      Reply
  57. Godzilla Borland

    Travelling to Cochin from SFO via Air India on October 30. I got my RT-PCR test done today, results may take 3 days. In case there is a delay in getting the test results, do I need the test results to fly out of SFO on October 30. Also the test was done slightly more than the 96 hour guideline. Are they strict in Delhi/Cochin airport? Also do I need to quarantine in Cochin?

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Godzilla! You don’t need RT-PCR test results to fly out of SFO. There is no such protocol, except for the passengers of Emirates Airlines. FYI, Kerala has lifted institutional quarantine for asymptomatic travelers from abroad; only home quarantine applies. Delhi airport should not be strict about the RT-PCR test report, because the test is not mandatory for travel to India. If there is a delay in getting the (hard copy) test results, you can show the soft copy in your email inbox upon arrival at Delhi airport.

      Reply
  58. Sangita

    Hi,
    Have you received any updates for travel to India from US for tourist visa holders in Novemver, 2020?

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Sangita! Tourist visa holders are not permitted to travel to India until further notice. Tourist visa to India continues to remain suspended as per the latest reports.

      Reply
  59. Anusha

    Hi,
    I am travelling from USA to Hyd by AirIndia on Nov 4th. Do we need to take covid test for kids (3 and 6 year old kids) to travel to India?

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Anusha! May we know why you need to get kids tested for COVID-19? Neither Air India nor Indian government requires you to travel with a negative COVID-19 report from the USA. Yes, a COVID-19 test certificate makes you eligible for exemption from institutional quarantine in India. However, you are already eligible for such exemption as you will travel with kids below 10 years of age. Please note, you need to apply for exemption on Air Suvidha (a section of Delhi IGI airport website).

      Reply
  60. KG

    I have booked my family ticket on from India to USA ( Kolkata -> Delhi > Munich > Denver) vey Lufthansa airlines for 14th Nov..My wife is Indian National and my kid is US National.

    Do you think there will be a problem for my family via the above said route? Please suggest

    Reply
    • Sunita Saini

      Hi, my son is traveling from Delhi to Newark on November 6th does he need a COVID test. Traveling from United airline. Please suggest

      Reply
      • indianeagle Post author

        Hi Sunita! A COVID19 test is not a mandatory requirement for traveling to USA from India. United Airlines has no such protocol.

        Reply
  61. Pritha

    Is it mandatory to take negative PCR test report while travel from heathrow london airport to delhi airport?

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Pritha! It is not mandatory unless a traveler seeks exemption from 7-day institutional quarantine upon arrival at Delhi Airport.

      Reply
  62. Aravind

    Hi Team,

    My wife is planning to travel from Chicago to Bangalore via Delhi through air india during end of Nov and return back on Jan 2nd week. Can I book air india ticket online as usual or there is any process like air bubble, etc.
    Also, how many hours before she should get tested for COVID 19 from the date of her travel from chicago? If she skips the test here, will it be a painful process in delhi for tests?
    Thanks

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Aravind! She should get tested for COVID19 within 96 hours prior to her flight from the first port of departure in the US. If she skips the test in the US, she may have to take a test at Delhi Airport. For the sake of testing at Delhi Airport, the layover must be as long as 6-7 hours long. FYI, there is no institutional quarantine for asymptomatic international arrivals in Karnataka. Currently, all airlines are operating air bubble flights. Booking travel on air bubble flights is subject to compliance with the Government of India’s certain regulations. Please be advised to contact our travel advisors at 1-800-615-3969 for hassle-free booking of air bubble flights and all the information relevant to her travel in the current circumstances.

      Reply
  63. Shailesh Dubale

    I am traveling from SFO to Mumbai on 20th November and considering British Airways; I am an US citizen with OCI card.
    Traveling back to US on 2nd of Jan 2021. Can I book with British airways or do I need to use United and Air India?

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Shailesh! Only foreign nationals including US citizens with a valid visa (not OCI card or tourist visa) can travel British Airways between the US and India via London Heathrow. OCI cardholders with British passports can travel on BA flights to India. So, Air India and United Airlines are the safest options for you. Please be advised to contact our travel advisors at 1-800-615-3969 for better guidance and hassle-free booking of the best itinerary for your travel. Thank you!

      Reply

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