Canada says no to Covid-19 test report from India, wants flyers to take 'third country' route
India-Canada direct flights remain suspended till July 21, according to the global travel advisory, in view of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic. Those intending to travel to Canada from India in the meanwhile need to book a flight via an 'indirect route'. Moreover, the passengers would also need to get themselves tested for the virus at a 'third country' since Canada does not accept the Covid-19 molecular test report from India, the country's official travel advisory noted.
"The Government of Canada has suspended flights from India until July 21, 2021," the advisory read. "During that period, passengers who travel to Canada from India via an indirect route will need to obtain a pre-departure negative Covid-19 molecular test result from a third country before continuing their journey to Canada."
The updated global travel advisory for India issued by the Government of Canada can be read here.
Passengers who previously tested positive for Covid-19 and are intending to travel from India to Canada now must provide proof of a coronavirus positive test conducted between 14 to 90 days prior to departure, the advisory read. "This proof must be obtained in a third country before the continuation of the journey to Canada. You might need to seek entry and stay in a third country for at least 14 days."
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Lufthansa airlines, while replying to a passenger inquiry about air travel from India to Canada, also said that passengers on the direct route between the countries cannot travel on its flights right now as the Canadian transport ministry does not accept any Covid-19 molecular test performed in India.
The Covid-19 related regulations imposed by Canadian authorities come as added hurdles for passengers looking to travel from India to Canada for educational, professional reasons, or otherwise since it requires adhering to specific coronavirus-related protocols in countries that are not the destination for these travellers. Certain countries may put the passenger from India in quarantine for at least 14 days after arrival, thus hampering their timeframe.
Moreover, many countries do not allow entry or transit from passengers arriving from India or from passengers who have previously tested positive to Covid-19. If the passenger does test positive for the coronavirus, there is a chance that they might even be sent back to their point of departure.
Not all international airports in these 'third countries' have Covid-19 testing readily available, so the passengers might need to seek out testing facilities elsewhere after arriving there.
Canada has also asked citizens to "avoid non-essential travel" to the northeastern part of India, specifically in the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Nagaland. It also asked to "avoid all travel" to the areas in these states sharing a border with Bangladesh and Afghanistan "due to significant conflict".
India, in the meanwhile, has officially asked the Canadian government to lift its ban on direct flights from New Delhi. That prohibition has been in place since April 22 and was extended twice. The current ban will expire on July 21 unless extended for a fourth time by the department of transportation. The original April decision came as India faced a devastating second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic and due to fears in Canada over the transmission of the Delta variant by air passengers.