On April 10, India added Sri Lanka to a list of 28 countries with which it has an Air Bubble Agreement This now one allows Indian’s to travel to the island nation while following laid down COVID-19 protocols.
As per the bilateral agreement, flights can now be operated between the two neighbours. Until now Maldives, UAE, Seychelles and Russia were the only operational vacation destinations for Indians. With Sri Lanka on the list, Indians will now have another destination to explore.
“All the eligible passengers will be able to fly between the 2 countries in the near future,” India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation said. While the dates for flights to Sri Lanka are yet to be announced, but the rules for travel have been laid out.
Sri Lanka’s new rules for entry make a distinction between those who are fully vaccinated and the rest. Those who have completed the recommended doses of COVID-19 vaccination and arriving after two weeks of completion of vaccination will be considered vaccinated. These visitors will still need an RT-PCR test to enter, and one again on arrival, but there will be fewer restrictions on their movement.
Others will have to adhere to a strict set of rules, which includes multiple tests during their stay, accommodation only in Level-1 hotels for the first 14 days and move within a bio-bubble—that too only to a specific set of attractions and destinations, CNN Traveller reported.
Temporary Travel Arrangements
The Transport Bubbles or Air Bubble Pact are temporary arrangements between two countries with a set of regulations and restrictions that allows carriers to operate international flights between two nations.
India has signed an air bubble agreement with 28 countries. These include France, Germany, Iraq, Japan, Bahrain, Canada, Maldives, Nigeria, Qatar and more that let you visit these global destinations on Indian passports.
Due to the increasing number of Coronavirus cases and India being among the top-hit COVID-19 nations, scheduled international flights have been suspended in India since March 23, 2020. However, under the Vande Bharat Mission (VBM) that started around May 2020, special internationals flights were operating.
The Vande Bharat Mission was launched by the government to allow Indians to fly after regular flight operations were suspended last year. As per a Hindustan Times report, it was considered to be the world’s largest expatriation exercise to bring back citizens.