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Travel update: Entry guidelines for the US, Turkey, and Ireland among other countries

To enter the US, your proof of vaccination must contain your name, date of birth, name of the vaccine you got and the date(s) of administration for all doses.

October 27, 2021 / 02:04 PM IST
Travellers to the US must show proof that they are fully vaccinated or carry a negative RT-PCR test that is not older than one day. (Image: Unsplash)

Travellers to the US must show proof that they are fully vaccinated or carry a negative RT-PCR test that is not older than one day. (Image: Unsplash)

Starting November 8, foreign nationals travelling to the United States will be required to be fully vaccinated and to provide proof of vaccination prior to boarding an airplane, according to travel.state.gov. The fully vaccinated will still have a three-day window for Covid-19 testing with negative results, but if they are not able to show proof of vaccination, they too will be subject to the one-day testing requirement.

Proof of vaccination should be a paper or digital record issued by an official source and should include the traveller’s name and date of birth, as well as the vaccine name and date(s) of administration for all doses.

“For anyone travelling to the United States who cannot demonstrate proof of full vaccination, they will have to produce documentation of a negative test within one day of departure, instead of the current three days,” according to the White House.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued new contact tracing rules requiring airlines to collect information from international air passengers like phone numbers, email and U.S. addresses and retain it for 30 days in case it is needed “to follow up with travellers who have been exposed to Covid-19 variants or other pathogens.”

The US is accepting any vaccine authorised for use by US regulators or the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as mixed-dose coronavirus vaccines from travellers.

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Thailand: Though India is not in the first list of 46 countries allowed entry into Thailand from November 1, India might be included in the second phase, Cholada Siddhivarn, Director Tourism Authority of Thailand Mumbai office, said in an exclusive interview to Moneycontrol. However, there is no definite date yet on the announcement of the start of the second phase.

“Vaccinated and unvaccinated Indians can still fly into Bangkok, but they will have to undergo a seven and 10 day mandatory hotel quarantine, respectively. The current entry requirements include a PCR negative test taken prior to departure and another RT-PCR on sixth or seventh day of arrival into the country. If the tests results are negative, tourists will be free to travel anywhere in Thailand,” Siddhivarn added.

Once India is included in the list of safe countries, travellers will still have to take a RT-PCR prior to departure and another one soon after arrival. The on-arrival test will be conducted in hotels. It is important to note that accommodation can only booked in hotels that have tie-ups with hospitals for Covid-testing.

Turkey: Turkey has scrapped mandatory quarantine for travellers from India. To avoid quarantine, fully vaccinated travellers must carry a negative PCR test result taken up to 72 hours before embarkation. Non-vaccinated travellers will have to undergo a mandatory 10-day quarantine. Passengers under 12 years of age are exempt from PCR test and the vaccination rule. Currently, Indian travellers who are vaccinated with Covishield and Sputnik V are allowed entry; those with Covaxin will not be allowed until WHO gives it a nod.

Read more: Covaxin approval: WHO seeks additional clarification from Bharat Biotech, decision likely on November 3

Sri Lanka: Travellers who have completed 14 days after the recommended doses of Covid-19 vaccination and arriving with a negative PCR report done within 72 hours of embarkation will be considered as fully vaccinated travellers. Any vaccination type accepted by the country of origin will be accepted. No prior approval required from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or Civil Aviation Authority is required, and there is no minimum duration of stay in Sri Lanka.

All travellers will have to submit a completed Health Declaration Form. A separate form should be submitted for each of the accompanying children (if any).

Fully vaccinated travellers are exempt from obtaining the otherwise mandatory Covid-19 Local Insurance cover. Fully vaccinated travellers if accompanied by not-vaccinated/not-fully vaccinated children of 12-18 years, have to pay for on-arrival PCR test at USD 40 per test. You can pay in advance on www.visitsrilanka.gov.lk.

Ireland: No quarantine or testing requirements for fully vaccinated Indians with Covishield or recently recovered travellers to Ireland. If you are travelling to Ireland from India, you must fill out a Passenger Locator Form before departure. You must have valid proof of vaccination. If you do not have valid proof of vaccination or recovery, you will need to present a negative RT-PCR test taken up to 72 hours prior to arrival in the country. Or self-quarantine for 14 days. If you receive a negative result from a RT-PCR test taken from day 5 onwards after arrival into Ireland, you will be able to leave quarantine.

Full details of current regulations can be found at  www.gov.ie

Read more: Covid travel restrictions | Safest and most dangerous EU countries for travel, as per EU health agency

Mauritius: From October 1, all fully vaccinated travellers can enter Mauritius. Travellers must present a negative PCR test taken up to 72 hours before departure and it is mandatory to get Covid-19 health insurance. Covid-19 testing will be required upon arrival (day 0) and on day 5 of arrival.

Unvaccinated travellers will have to quarantine in a hotel for 14 days and take a PCR test on day 7 and day 14 of arrival. If the test result is negative, tourists can travel around the island and move into another accommodation.

South Africa: Both vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers can enter South Africa with a mandatory negative PCR result. A vaccination certificate is not required.

Maldives: All tourists should hold a valid negative PCR test result with a sample taken up to 96 hours prior to embarking at the first port en route to the Maldives. This requirement is not mandatory for children below the age of one year.

All tourists should hold a negative PCR test result, of a test  taken within 72 hours of  checking-out of a guesthouse from any inhabited island.

Tourists who have received all the prescribed doses of a Covid-19 vaccine that has been approved by WHO for emergency use, and is listed in Emergency Use Listing (EUL) or by the Maldives Food and Drug Authority, and have completed 14 days (prior to date of arrival) after receiving the prescribed dose(s) of a vaccine, will be allowed to check-in at a guesthouse on any inhabited local island. Accompanying children and infants who are not eligible for vaccination may also check-in at guesthouses in local islands. 

Saudi Arabia: The country is closed for Indians, but Hajj and Umrah pilgrims can enter. The government has launched a smartphone-based app enabling the registration of biometrics of Hajj and Umrah pilgrims seeking e-visa. The app allows pilgrims to directly apply for the visa from anywhere in the world without approaching agents. On registering by providing the biometrics, a visa would be issued over the mobile phone. Saudi authorities would match the biometrics provided once the pilgrim reaches the kingdom. Saudi Arabia has become the first country to allow biometric registration over smartphones for e-visa.

Also read: Saudi Arabia to use $110 billion natural gas project for blue hydrogen

Qatar: Fully vaccinated travellers (14 days after second shot) above the age of 12 can travel to Qatar if they have received a jab that has been approved by the Ministry of Health of Qatar. Two-day hotel quarantine mandatory even after full vaccination and negative PCR result taken not more than 72 hours prior to travel to Qatar. Travellers will have to undergo a second PCR test and Serology antibody test at the quarantine hotel at their own expense.

Unvaccinated children below 18 years of age can travel only if accompanied by one/both parents who are fully vaccinated.

Also read: 9 international cities you can explore in less than Rs 75,000
Preeti Verma Lal is a Goa-based freelance writer/photographer.
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