The Canadian government in its latest global travel advisory has continued to suspend India-Canada direct flights till July 21. The extension comes in view of the deadly coronavirus pandemic. Indian travelers who have to fly to Canada in this period have to book a flight via an ‘indirect route.’ According to the revised official travel advisory, Canada will not accept the COVID-19 molecular test report from India. Therefore, the travelers have to get themselves tested for the coronavirus in a ‘third country’ before they continue their journey to Canada.
The revised global travel advisory issued by the Government of Canada for Indian travelers can be read here.
As per the advisory, passengers who have previously tested positive for the COVID-19 virus and are traveling from India to Canada have to now provide proof of a coronavirus test conducted between 14 to 90 days prior to their departure. "This proof must be obtained in a third country before Indian travelers continue their journey to Canada. You might need to seek entry and stay in a third country for at least 14 days,” the advisory read.
These updated COVID-19 regulations which have been imposed by Canadian authorities have added hurdles to the pre-existing problems of the Indian passengers looking to travel to the country for professional, educational, professional, or other reasons. There are some countries that may put the passengers from India in quarantine for a minimum period of 14 days after arrival. This will lead to hampering their timeframe and will increase their expenses too.
However, Canada is not the first country to put travel restrictions for passengers traveling from India. There are many countries that have restricted entry or transit for passengers arriving from India and especially for those who have previously tested positive for COVID-19. If the passenger tests positive during transit, they might be quarantined or sent back to their point of departure.
A demerit of the ‘third country’ route is that not all international airports in these countries have COVID-19 testing available. Therefore, the passengers might have to look out for testing facilities elsewhere after arriving in a new nation. Apart from these guidelines, Canada has advised its citizens to "avoid non-essential travel" to the northeastern part of India.