When can Indians expect resumption of direct flights to Canada?
Amid the improving COVID-19 situation in the country, the Canadian government has relaxed travel restrictions for international passengers. However, direct flights from India to Canada are banned till July 21 until further notice.
Meanwhile, India 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 amid the devastating second wave of the pandemic that struck India and has been extended twice.
The High Commissioner of India to Canada, Ajay Bisaria, recently met Air India's Toronto representative to restart flights between India and Canada. Bisaria said that it is of the utmost importance to resume flights between the two countries, especially for the sake of students.
Bisaria also held meetings with officials from Air India and Air Canada. Before the ban was enforced, the two national carriers were operating almost daily flights between New Delhi and the Canadian cities of Toronto and Vancouver.
After meeting Air India's representative in Canada, Bisaria tweeted, "Important to rapidly normalise mobility for economic recovery, for achieving normalcy in business and education."
However, there has been a slew of travel relaxations from July 5, which is set to benefit Canadian citizens, permanent residents and their relatives, international students and some temporary workers who have a valid work permit.
Canada travel guidelines
Fully vaccinated citizens and permanent residents are not required to observe the mandatory quarantine period.
The same rule is also applied to workers with valid work permits, international students, and relatives of permanent residents.
Quarantine is not required for fully vaccinated people with any of the vaccines approved by Canada.
The country has so far approved the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Astra Zeneca/Covishield, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
Those travelling to Canada via connecting flights will have to produce negative RT-PCR test results conducted at the final point of departure before entering Canada.
Those who are travelling without being inoculated or have been jabbed by a vaccine that is yet to be approved in the country will have to quarantine at a hotel for three days.
Then they have to take a second test on the eighth day of their arrival, and complete 14-days in self-isolation, as per the reports.
Travellers must upload their proof of vaccination in the ArriveCAN portal.