Extension of lockdown – Q and A
At the Australian High Commission we understand that it is a stressful, frustrating and uncertain time.
The Indian government has announced the lockdown will continue in containment zones until 31 October, with a number of restrictions lifting in other areas, although state governments may continue some measures. India is maintaining a ban on all international scheduled passenger flights for now. A number of domestic flights resumed from 25 May between cities.
Dealing with urgent consular needs of Australians and continuing to explore options for commercial charters for those wishing to return to Australia are our priorities.
What flight options are there for me to return to Australia?
The Australian Government is working around the clock on commercial charter options. We are pursuing a number of options with airlines and will provide updates to those registered with us (for those who have not, please follow the instructions at our website to do so).
We will keep updating those registered with us via email as options develop, and provide upates via our social media channels.
Can Qantas or Virgin fly to India to bring Australians back?
The Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne and the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack announced that the Australian Government will continue to explore commercial charter options from India.
The Australian High Commission will continue to do all it can to support such flights. We will let Australians who have registered with us know details as options emerge. We have supported seven Qantas flights from India and are supporting more over the coming weeks.
What do we do now as we booked on commercial flights?
Some of you may have booked on scheduled flights in April that will no longer fly (including on Air India, Singapore Airlines and Qatar Airways).
We have raised with the Indian Government and these airlines the importance of the speedily arrangement of credits for later flights or refunds.
The Australian High Commission will continue to provide information about any available flight options from any city but as with all of these we cannot guarantee flights may not be cancelled or the flight ban further extended. You should always carefully consider your personal and financial circumstances, and read carefully the terms and conditions before booking.
If I am not departing India on charter flights what should I do?
It is important your follow the advice of Indian government authorities and minimise your risk to COVID-19. You should practice social distancing and remain indoors apart from travelling to obtain essential goods and services.
There are a number of tips for how to stay safe and healthy during the lockdown.
We encourage you to wear a mask when travelling outside. This is an important social practice for COVID-19 in many parts of India. And some states and territories have made it compulsory (including New Delhi, Mumbai, Uttar Pradesh, Chandigarh, Nagaland). We encourage to seek advice of local authorities about specific mask requirements.
If you must leave your accommodation to get food or medicine, we encourage you to take a shopping bag with you. This will help reassure police and authorities that your travel is necessary. We will keep sending through tips and advice through our social media channels.
If you are having difficulty obtaining food and medicine there are a number of things you can do. First, if you are staying in your hotel, you could ask hotel staff, or ask friends and family to purchase and deliver food and other essential items to you. You can also raise any problems with local Tourist Authorities who could assist. And of course, you can call the Australian High Commission for consular support (contact details are on our website.)
The validity of my passport has expired, will I be able to enter Australia?
Please contact the Australian High Commission (details are on our website).
My Indian visa is about to expire, what should I do?
If your visa to stay in India is due to expire before you can leave due to #COVID19, you can apply for an extension online: https://indianfrro.gov.in/eservices/home.jsp.
If you have any questions, try contacting your nearest FRRO via email (Delhi: [email protected], Chennai: [email protected], Mumbai: [email protected]) or call their hotline on +91 11 2430 0666.
What quarantine requirements will I face back in Australia?
All travellers returning to Australia will be required to undertake a mandatory 14 day quarantine at designated facilities at their port of entry. You will be directed to a facility such as a hotel on arrival in Australia and required to stay there for 14 days before you can complete any onward travel or return to your home.
The accommodation, along with food, water and any medical support will be provided by the Australian Government. See the Smartraveller website for more.
Should you then wish to travel on to another state or territory governments you may be subject to an additional period of quarantine or other restrictions. You should keep up with the latest with the relevant State and Territory Governments:
· Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
· New South Wales
· Northern Territory
· South Australia
· Western Australia
What should I do about travel insurance?
We encourage you to ensure you travel insurance is current and extend it if you need to.