Australian citizens in India can fly back starting 15 May | Condé Nast Traveller IndiaMay 7, 2021
Passengers arrive from Delhi to Canberra on a repatriation flight in May 2020. Photo:
Rohan Thomson / Stringer
Australia will be lifting its travel ban on India starting 15 May. Operations for government-chartered flights to the Centre for National Resilience in Howard Springs will resume for Australian citizens in India, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced in a statement today.
Australia lifts travel ban for its citizens in India
The country had previously imposed a strict ban on arrivals from India to prevent a third wave of the virus. The ban, which began on 3 May, did not allow Australian citizens and residents who were in India 14 days prior to their travel into the country. Any offenders would risk civic penalties like fines as well as upto five years imprisonment. The tight restrictions, which received severe criticism from Indian expats and human rights groups, were imposed in light of the worsening COVID-19 situation in India. The suspension was slated to last two weeks, after which further considerations would be made.
The Australian government has now announced that the temporary ban will remain in place until 15 May as planned but will be lifted thereafter. The pause has allowed for a sustained reduction in COVID-19 positive cases originating from India in Australia’s quarantine system.
Here’s what you need to know:
- The first repatriation flight to Darwin will leave India on 15 May, following which there will be a flight every 7-9 days.
- Vulnerable Australians will be prioritised for these flights. About 1000 Australians are estimated to return to the country by the end of June
- All returning passengers will be required to submit a negative RT-PCR test as well as a negative Rapid Antigen test prior to boarding
- The ban on commercial passenger flights between the two countries remains in place until further notice
- Restrictions on travel exemptions for Australians looking to travel to India also remain in place for now