COVID-19 Travel Advisory

Travel Advisory and Updates for India, Bhutan and Sri Lanka

LAST UPDATED: 13th May, 2021

 

Owing to the current global health crisis arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, and the subsequent repercussions of the closing of International borders, Unventured has suspended its long duration tours until further notice. Our earlier city tour operations in Mysuru and Bengaluru are also suspended until the local conditions improve.

In the wake of the ongoing conditions, Unventured has launched a set of new nature-based and active tours, further information on which can be found on our website.
Please note that our local and private group “Let’s Step Out” tours are currently under halt pertaining to the ongoing lockdown in Karnataka and will resume accepting bookings from June 1st, 2021.

 

This global health crisis has impacted everyone and we want to comfort and reassure you that your future travel plans are safe. We, at Unventured, are committed to supporting our customers in the best and safest way that we can.

 

We have detailed a Safety and Support SOP (Standard tour Operating Procedure)

to help adopt and travel in a COVID-19 world is live on our website and can be found here. Please do go through the City Tour SOP and the Weekend/ Multi-day Tour SOP to get a detailed insight into how we ensure your safety on an Unventured experience.

There are a lot of learnings coming in and we are consulting many experts along with helping our partners, transport teams and local homestays to understand this pandemic and subsequently adopting safety measures that will ensure greater transparency, trust and safety on tours we organize.

 

We will continue to monitor and update our travel advisory page for India, Bhutan and Sri Lanka to provide our guests with the latest information pertaining to travelling and local lives in these regions. We are working alongside our local partners, government authorities and trade bodies to ensure we have the latest information and understand all measures being taken for the safety of people in the region.

 

Here is an update from each country and measures being taken by local authorities

*LAST UPDATED ON : 12th AUGUST 2020

INDIA

India began its efforts in managing COVID-19, on 22 March 2020, by observing a 14-hour voluntary public curfew. The government followed it up with a nationwide lockdown for 21 days, the biggest lockdown in the world for a population of 1.3 billion. On 14 April, the prime minister of India extended the ongoing nationwide lockdown until 3 May which was further extended until 31st May 2020, while enforcing restrictions in specific containment zones.

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India started phase-1 of the “unlocking” process on June 1st 2020, whereas malls and shopping centres started opening up post-June 8th, with a strict sanitization regime and entry protocols.  Red zones with a higher number of COVID – 19 cases were sealed and continue to function as containment zones.

The Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker, in its initial report based on data from 73 countries, reports that the Indian Government has responded more stringently than other countries in tackling the pandemic. It noted the government’s swift action, emergency policy making emergency investment in healthcare, fiscal measures, investment in vaccine research and active response to the situation, and scored India with a “100” for its strictness during the first wave and a “73” during the second wave, as region-wise lockdowns continue to sweep the nation.

CURRENT STATUS:

With the incoming of the second wave of Covid, India is currently overseeing a surge in cases, after a previous rapid declination during late 2020 – early 2021. Geographically, the cases are mostly clustered in the metropolitan cities, and the states of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, while the majority of North East India remain unaffected and safe. The recovery rate in India currently stands at 82%.

India has started its nationwide vaccination where citizens of 18+ age are eligible to receive their Covid-19 vaccination shots at their nearest centres.

India lifted its nationwide lockdown on June 1st, 2020. Owing to the latest surge in 2021, states have now imposed state-wise lockdown that affects interstate travel and flights accordingly. In states with no lockdown imposition, individual travellers have no quarantine compulsion. Most restrictions from movement inside a state have been lifted, except for that in containment zones, but all international flights and borders continue to remain suspended for tourism purpose until further notice from the government.

 

OUR INDIA TRAVEL ADVISORY: The rate of spread in India has seen a recent momentum, along with the rate of recovery in a few states name Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Delhi. We advise NO TRAVEL to India until further notice. Please contact us for any further information and local insights into specific regions you wish to travel through.

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BHUTAN

Bhutan reported its first case on 6 March, a 76-year-old US male who travelled to the country via India. The government immediately shut borders to foreign visitors for two weeks and now extended it indefinitely until further notice. Another Bhutanese national student who had returned from the United Kingdom was found to be positive for COVID-19, the third case in the country.

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Around 90 people who came directly in contact with patient 1, along with his 59-year-old partner, driver, and guide were quarantined. The tiny, landlocked country, famous for measuring Gross National Happiness has emerged as a popular tourist destination in recent years.

CURRENT STATUS: In Bhutan, from 3 January 2020 to 6:00 pm CEST, 12 May 2021, there have been 1,247 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with a total of 1 death, as reported to WHO. As of 2 May 2021, a total of 481,491 vaccine doses have been administered, and most of the population has been vaccinated. However, travel to Bhutan is still not permitted by the local Bhutanese government, and is suspected to remain so until further notice.

 

OUR BHUTAN TRAVEL ADVISORY: The Bhutanese government along with the current King of Bhutan have proactively ensured necessary contact tracing and effective measures to contain any spread, along with closing the border indefinitely. We advise NO TRAVEL to Bhutan until further notice. We continue to monitor the situation in Bhutan and keep this section updated on a regular basis. Please contact us for any further information and local insights into specific regions you wish to travel through.

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SRI LANKA

The COVID-19 pandemic was first confirmed in Sri Lanka on 27 January 2020. Nearly 3,500 people have been under quarantine in 45 quarantine centers which also include 31 foreigners from 14 countries. Sri Lanka has been ranked 9th best country in the world for its successful immediate response on tackling the virus. Sri Lanka used an effective method of contact tracing and cluster identification in local areas to avoid long durations of Nationwide lockdowns.

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The government allowed normalcy to return to the citizen and lifted the nationwide curfew on 18 May 2020, which had been placed on the country since 20 March 2020. On 18th March Sri Lanka suspended all passenger arrivals from all countries. However, cargo, departures and transit have been continued.

 

CURRENT STATUS: Sri Lanka on May 12th, 2021 intensified travel restrictions across the country, restricting movement of traffic at night to combat the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic that has claimed over 800 lives in the island nation.

The ban, from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. daily, will come into place from May 12th until May 31st, 2021. However, essential services and transportation of food items will be allowed during this period. The move comes after inter-provincial travel restrictions were put into place across the country until May 30th.

Additionally, there would be a blanket travel ban from 11 p.m. on Thursday (May 13th) until 4 a.m. on Monday (May 17th) in view of the long weekend and festival of Eid.

Sri Lanka is battling the third wave of the pandemic. The country reported 149 COVID deaths over the last 10 days, health officials said.

 

OUR SRI LANKA TRAVEL ADVISORY: The rate of spread is well managed until now, the numbers are in localised clusters and the curve is flattening. Currently, Sri Lanka has banned all international flights and travel to the country. We advise NO TRAVEL to Sri Lanka until further notice. We will monitor the situation in Sri Lanka and will keep this section updated on a regular basis. Please contact us for any further information and local insights into specific regions you wish to travel through.

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