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Coronavirus: situation in India

Current situation and info updates

The Foreign Trade Center New Delhi informs Austrian companies about the effects of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on business activity and economy in India.

Status: April 16, 2021


Current & important

  • Status: April 16, 2021
  • 2nd wave: Steep rise in new cases
  • Night curfew re-enacted
  • Mumbai in partial lockdown
  • e-Visa for business travelers possible again

The Night Curfew in New Delhi has been in effect again since April 6th - for the time being until April 30th. This means that there is a night curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Other states have also taken similar measures: Maharashtra (Mumbai) has not only a night curfew from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m., but also a “weekend lockdown”, while Rajasthan has a “night curfew” from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.

In Maharashtra, since April 14th. a partial lockdown - initially until April 30th. limited.

Despite the progress of vaccination in the population (at the end of March more than 63 million were vaccinated) the number of cases is increasing again. The doubling time last year was 23 days, while this year it is less than 10 days.

Some states are particularly affected by the second wave: Maharashtra accounts for more than 60% of the cases every day (last year it was “only” 22% at peak times). Mumbai still seems to be one of India's corona hotspots.

It can be assumed that individual Indian states will peak in the second wave at different times. After Maharashtra, the focus could shift to Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka or Tamil Nadu. Bihar, Uttar Pradesh or West Bengal could start the second wave even later.

The metro is still in operation - to a limited extent.

Large social, political, sporting, academic, cultural and religious events are allowed with a limit of 100 people.

Cinemas, swimming pools, amusement parks, theaters, bars, and similar entertainment venues will remain closed. Open-air events have been allowed since 21.09. with the upper limit of 100 people.

With "Unlock 3" the night curfew has fallen. However, there may be individual (temporary) regional nocturnal curfews.

The use of the Indian Corona app ("Aarogya Setu") is expressly recommended.


Entry and travel regulations

Relief for vaccinated peopleRelief for those who have recoveredRelief for the tested
YesNoNo
with proven full immunizationEntry only with a negative COVID-19 test (PCR or antibody test, accompanied by a medical certificate in English or Spanish or a quick test), which is not older than 72 hours from the time of boarding the flight to India. Since the situation is developing dynamically and in some cases individual regions are affected differently, we ask you to contact the team at the Foreign Trade Center New Delhi directly before a planned business trip to India.

India again allows e-Visa for business travelers from 156 countries. Austria is on the list of 156 countries. E-visas for tourism purposes are still suspended.

Regular international air traffic to and from India is still suspended (initially until the end of April). However, there are a few repatriation flights (Vande Bharat Mission) as well as flights to humanitarian aid with the possibility of flying. These flights can be booked in the normal way through travel agencies.

All people entering India

  • have to go into a 14-day quarantine,
  • have installed the "Arogya Setu" app on your smartphone,
  • submit a completed self-declaration form,
  • have a return ticket, and
  • Provide proof of a visit to India (e.g. a letter from the company to be visited).
  • NEW: additional PCR test upon arrival at the airport

Exemption from quarantine:

To avoid the institutional quarantine, you have to register on the online portal before departure and upload a negative RT-PCR, which must not be older than 72 hours. The final decision to free the institutional quarantine is also displayed on the portal (or sent by email). For the sake of good order, it is added that the online portal does not always work.

Danger! Should you plan to enter via Mumbai:

According to the latest information, the 14-day quarantine in Mumbai is also mandatory for travelers from Europe (not just the UK). On the 7th day it is possible to convert the institutional quarantine into a home quarantine by means of a negative PCR test. We were informed that there are no exceptions to this and that this legal requirement will be implemented consistently.

In addition, a negative RT-PCR that is not older than 72 hours must be presented upon entry, as well as the self-declaration form mentioned above.

Since the flights as part of the Vande Bharat mission (repatriation flights) and the entry for Lufthansa flights are from Germany from an Indian perspective, registration with the Indian representative authority in Germany is required.

Since the entry regulations are constantly changing, we recommend that you keep in touch with your airline or your travel agency. As a rule, Lufthansa sends the last entry requirements and links to the corresponding online forms to the travelers by email in good time before the start of the flight.

We recommend printing out all forms filled in online as well as the negative PCR test so that they can be presented at the airport in Delhi.

On the part of BMEIA, “security level 6 (travel warning)” applies in connection with the increasing spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the associated massive restrictions on travel. It is strongly advised to postpone travel that is not absolutely necessary or to make use of any return travel options that are currently available.

Austrians in a consular emergency are advised to contact the Austrian Embassy in New Delhi.


Regulations for freight transport

Basically there are currently no legal import restrictions, but since the introduction of the lockdown on March 25th, the logistical framework has deteriorated significantly, which has brought about dramatic interruptions in the supply chains.

Shipping: supply chains interrupted

With an ordinance of 31.3. instructed all customs services and port administration facilities to ensure that supply chains are not interrupted despite the state of emergency. Regardless, port health officials refuse to implement decisions to allow all ships, except those from China, to dock, subject to certain controls. They still insist on 14-day quarantine periods, which means that ships stay at anchor for days.

This also means that India (mainly Mumbai) will no longer be called and other international ports will be served.

In addition, the local police actively prevent the movement of container trucks between logistics facilities and container terminals. In Mumbai, customs brokers who simplify customs clearance for importers have been declared a non-essential branch of the economy and are therefore not operational.

Container traffic has thus come to a de facto standstill. Many truck drivers have meanwhile also drawn the consequences and left their jobs to return to their places of residence in the province. Truck traffic also collapsed as a result.

All this despite the fact that the said regulation clearly stated that ports must be kept open and supply chains must not be interrupted. In addition, many authorities work in “home office” mode or only have a minimum number of staff.