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India

If you’re travelling to India, our travel advice and updates give you practical tips and useful information.

Security Status

  • Normal precautions
  • High degree of caution
  • Avoid non-essential travel
  • Do not travel
  • Overview
  • Safety and Security
  • Local Laws and Customs
  • Natural Disasters and Climate
  • Additional Information
  • Embassy Contact

Overview

General COVID-19 Travel Advisory in Operation

General advice is to avoid non-essential travel, other than to countries on the ‘Green List’  where the advice is to take normal precautions:

In accordance with Government policy, which is based on official public health advice, the Department of Foreign Affairs continues to advise against non-essential travel overseas (including to Great Britain but not to Northern Ireland), other than to countries on the ‘green list’ where the ‘normal precautions’ security status rating will apply. The request to restrict their movements does not apply to individuals arriving into Ireland from countries on the ‘green list.’

On 15 September, the Government agreed that, for the period ahead, this ‘green list’ will be updated on a weekly basis, to include EU / EEA countries with a 14 day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 of 25 or less, based on the latest data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Updates will be made on the basis of data each Thursday, with changes taking effect from the following Monday.

The updated ‘green’ (normal precautions) list outlined below is based on ECDC data on Thursday 17 September, and will take effect from Monday 21 September. Until then, the earlier list continues to apply.

Green’ (Normal Precautions) List to take effect from Monday 21 September

‘Green’ (Normal Precautions) List below remains in effect until midnight on Sunday 20 September

  • Estonia*
  • Finland*
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Hungary *
  • Italy
  • Latvia*
  • Lithuania*
  • Norway*
  • Slovakia

*Citizens considering travel to these locations should note the information below regarding restrictions on entry. These jurisdictions currently have quarantine requirements or other restrictions for arrivals from other jurisdictions, including Ireland.

Potential for restrictions on entering these locations:

Inclusion on the list does not imply the absence of any restrictions on arrivals in those locations. Citizens should be aware that countries continue to announce new restrictions on arrivals from abroad, including the requirement to quarantine on entry. This can include restrictions on arrivals from Ireland. The situation will continue to evolve quickly. Citizens who are considering travel to particular locations are advised to monitor news and information from the public authorities in their destination.

The latest updates will always be uploaded first to this General COVID-19 Travel Advisory. Country-specific tabs will be updated subsequently, and as quickly as possible, but this advisory is the primary source of information for the latest version of the list.

If you are considering travelling outside of Ireland:

Irish citizens travelling to locations with a ‘normal precautions’ (“green”) rating are advised to follow the public health guidelines of the local health authorities and to continue to practice physical distancing measures, hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette etc. Citizens who are considering travel to these locations are also advised to monitor news and information from the public authorities in their chosen destination. This includes information regarding possible restrictions on arrival from abroad, including from Ireland. The security rating for all other locations remains unchanged at either to ‘avoid non-essential travel’ (“orange”) or to ‘do not travel’ (“red”).

The purpose of the Department’s Travel Advice is to provide information to the general public so that individuals can make informed decisions for themselves.  The COVID19 pandemic continues to accelerate internationally, and there are significant risks associated with international travel. Citizens should be aware of the possible limitations to any consular assistance that could be provided. Any citizens who are considering travel abroad are advised to monitor closely our travel advice, and to  download our TravelWise App and follow us on Twitter. Citizens travelling abroad should also register with their local Irish Embassy or Consulate and regularly check their website and Twitter accounts for details of any local public health measures and travel restrictions.

Should you need to travel, you should inform yourself about any requirements in place in the destination to which you are travelling. Flight restrictions and route cancellations continue to occur worldwide and there is no guarantee that air routes will operate as scheduled. Testing and restrictions may be imposed or may already be in place in other countries. It is important to check with your insurance provider on coverage at this time.

What to do on entering Ireland from abroad:

The Irish Authorities advise anyone entering Ireland, other than those arriving from Northern Ireland or locations with a security rating of ‘normal precautions’ (“green”), to restrict their movements for 14 days. This includes citizens and residents returning to Ireland. Restricting your movements means staying indoors in one location and avoiding contact with other people and social situations as much as possible.

All passengers arriving into Ireland from overseas are obliged to complete a mandatory COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form before arriving in Ireland. This is now an online form. Paper versions of the form are also available at points of entry into Ireland, if required. Failure to complete the form is an offence. For further details please see the Irish Government Advice Page. Exemptions are also in place for providers of essential supply chain services such as hauliers, pilots and maritime staff.

Check the Irish Government Advice Page for full information on these requirements and further advice on returning from abroad.

Where to go for more information:

We continue to make updates to our online travel advice for over 200 countries and recommend that you download our TravelWise App and follow us on Twitter. If abroad you should register with your local Irish Embassy or Consulate and regularly check their website and Twitter accounts for details of any local public health measures and travel restrictions.

Overview

Security status

Avoid non-essential travel. 

Security Status Last Updated: 16 March 2020

Latest travel alert

COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus

Emergency responses to the Covid-19 crisis in many countries have included restrictions of flights to/from Europe; imposition of new mandatory quarantine arrangements and new restrictions affecting the admission of Irish people travelling to and within the Asia Pacific region.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade strongly advises against any non–essential travel to the region until further notice. 

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Indian Government introduced a lockdown of the entire country on 25 March, which has been extended until 30 June for containment areas. Further information on the latest lockdown measures is available here: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1627965 .   Inter-State travel is permitted and domestic rail services, buses and passenger flights have resumed on a limited basis. Individual States and Union Territories may impose their own restrictions on movement so monitor local news sources and official websites for latest updates. However, international commercial passenger flights are not permitted to operate in India until at least 30 June. We recommend that Irish citizens continue to monitor local news and follow the directions of local authorities. 

There is currently an upward trend in the number of COVID-19 cases in the main cities in India. As a result, the availability of healthcare services is reducing and Irish citizens’ access to medical care for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 treatment may become increasingly difficult in the coming period. This includes access to medical facilities commonly used by expatriates and the international community in India.   

Visas of all foreign nationals already in India remain valid. Visa extension services arising from COVID-19 will be provided free of charge and contact details for the Foreign Regional Registration Office [FRRO], as well as further information is available on the website of the FRRO: https://indianfrro.gov.in/eservices/home.jsp

Common signs of infection of COVID-19 include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Please be wary of these symptoms and seek immediate medical attention should such symptoms occur.

International travellers: practice usual precautions
You can reduce the general risk of acute respiratory infections while travelling by:

• avoiding close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections;
• frequent hand-washing, especially after direct contact with ill people or their environment;
• avoiding close contact with live or dead farm or wild animals;
• travellers with symptoms of acute respiratory infection should practice cough etiquette (maintain distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing, and wash hands).

Additional information on the Coronavirus can be found on the via the following links:
 
 
 

Other issues

There are ongoing demonstrations against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in many parts of the country, especially in major cities such as Delhi and Bengaluru, in universities, and in the North East region. As a result of protests, you may experience travel disruptions, and authorities may impose localised communication blackouts and curfews. You should exercise caution if you’re planning to travel in India, avoid areas where protests are taking place, monitor local media for the latest information, follow instructions of the local authorities and allow more time for travel.
 
The main metropoles in Northern India are often subject to severe levels of air pollution during the winter months, which can have short-term and long-term health implications for residents and travellers. We advise citizens to monitor air pollution levels, follow the advice of local authorities and to reduce their exposure to air pollution where possible by staying indoors and avoiding strenuous outdoor activity. If you have any pre-existing medical conditions or are concerned about the impact of pollution on your health, we advise you to seek medical advice before travelling to these locations.  

North-West

Since August 2019, a security lockdown has been implemented in Jammu and Kashmir, with communication systems regularly interrupted and widespread travel restrictions. Except for the region of Ladakh, where Irish citizens should exercise a high degree of caution, we advise against all travel to Jammu and Kashmir, including the cities of Srinagar and Jammu. Irish citizens in Ladakh should remain vigilant, follow the advice of local authorities, and monitor developments in the local and Indian media. We advise against all travel in the vicinity of the border with Pakistan, except the border crossing at Wagah.

North-East

We advise against all travel to Manipur and Tripura, and all non-essential travel to Nagaland. 

Irish citizens travelling in or through either the Darjeeling hills, Sikkim or the Cooch Behar district of West Bengal are advised to exercise a high degree of caution, follow the advice of the local authorities, monitor local media and avoid any demonstrations or gatherings.

Emergency assistance

The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.

Our tips for safe travels

  • Purchase comprehensive travel insurance which covers all your intended activities
  • Add an alert for your destination within the Travelwise App.
  • Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly in an emergency, such as a natural disaster or a family emergency
  • Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates
  • Read our Topical ‘Know Before You Go’ guide

Safety and Security

Safety and security

Unrest

We advise against all travel to rural areas of Jammu and Kashmir other than Ladakh and all but essential travel to Srinagar. There is a high level of conflict and terrorist violence in the region and a high risk of unpredictable violence, including bombings, grenade attacks, shootings and kidnapping.

We also advise against all but essential travel to Imphal and against all travel in the rest of Manipur and Tripura. Lawlessness and violence are serious risks in the north-eastern part of the country, including in Assam, where risks are further increased by the ongoing campaign of violence by ULFA militants.

A number of regions of central and southern India, including parts of Maharashtra, Telangana and West Bengal, are vulnerable to violence from the extreme left-wing Naxalite militants who are active in some rural areas. Visitors should be vigilant at all times against the threat of criminality and terrorism.

Terrorism

There is a high risk that terrorists will try to carry out an attack in India. Prominent government buildings, public transport, places of worship and commercial and public areas are all potential targets for terrorist attack. 

We advise you to be extremely careful and be aware of your surroundings. Stay vigilant, particularly in busy public places such as shopping malls, markets and on public transport. Avoid any demonstrations that may occur and monitor the media and other local information sources for information about possible new safety or security risks.

A number of terrorist attacks have taken place in recent years, including in major tourist destinations such as Mumbai and New Delhi, which has led to increased security in many major cities. Tourist areas such as Old Delhi and other crowded areas frequented by foreigners could be seen as targets. 

Security forces in India consider the threat of terrorist incidents is heightened around major national festivals such as Republic Day (26 January), Independence Day (15 August) and other major festival occasions.

Crime

Crime remains relatively low in India but you should take sensible precautions: 

  • Don't carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place. 
  • Don't carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home.
  • Be cautious when using a travel agent in India, use one that is recommended by your guidebook or a reliable hotel. Irish citizens have been the victims of travel agent scams in India.

Reporting crime

If you're a victim of a crime while in India, report it to a local police station immediately. You will need to file an FIR (first incident report) and the police must register the crime. You can contact us at the Irish Embassy in New Delhi if you need help.

Personal safety

Avoid travelling alone on public transport, or in taxis or auto-rickshaws, especially at night. If you have to use a taxi get them from hotel taxi ranks and use pre-paid taxis at airports. Avoid hailing taxis or auto-rickshaws on the street. Meru Cabs and Mega Cabs are widely available in cities in India. They can be booked online or over the phone. Platforms for ordering taxis at set prices, such as Uber and OLA are now available in many cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore.

Women travellers

Women should use caution when travelling in India. Recent sexual attacks against female visitors in tourist areas and cities show that foreign women are at risk. Tourists have been the victims of sexual assault in Agra, Goa, Delhi, Bangalore, Madhya Pradesh, Kolkata and Rajasthan. Women travellers often receive unwanted attention in the form of verbal and physical harassment by individuals or groups of men. This may include being photographed.

Women travellers should exercise caution when travelling in India. The cultural norms in India are very different to Ireland. In India, it is unusual for women to travel independently. In the evening or at night time women should be particularly cautious. While using the metro, women travellers should use the women's only carriage. This is clearly marked on the platform of each station. Women should consider travelling in a group in India.

You should respect local dress codes and customs and avoid isolated areas, including beaches, when alone at any time of day. Women travellers should be particularly careful when selecting their accommodation and consider sharing a room where possible. Women should be cautious about sharing information such as their room number or address with people whom they do not know very well.

Driving

If you're planning to drive in India, you should be extremely careful. Driving on Indian roads can be hazardous, particularly at night in rural areas. Inadequately lit buses and lorries, poor driving and badly maintained vehicles are the main causes of accidents. If your vehicle is involved in a collision with a pedestrian or livestock, you are best advised to go to the nearest police station to report the accident. 

If you want to drive, bring your international driving licence and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance.

Hiring a vehicle

If you're hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you're allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.

Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).

In India, it is more common to hire a car and driver than to drive yourself.

Trekking

If you are trekking in high altitudes, make sure your insurance policy covers you for altitudes over 2,400 metres. You should also be aware that there are no commercial mountain rescue services capable of operating at altitudes above 3,000 metres.

There are also parts of the border areas where only the Indian Air Force is permitted to carry out air rescues. They are under no obligation to perform air rescues and have limited resources available to do so.

Local Laws and Customs

Local laws and customs

Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or may even be illegal.

Illegal drugs

Illegal drug use (no matter what the drug) carries stiff penalties, including fines and long prison terms.  The slow judicial process means that lengthy pre-trial detention, usually of several years, is the norm.

E-cigarettes

On Wednesday, 18th September, a ban was imposed on the advertisement, production, manufacture, import, export, transport, sale, distribution, and storage of e-cigarettes and all similar vaping devices in India, with first time violations of the new rules potentially facing jail terms of up to one year and large fines. We advise citizens not to bring e-cigarettes or similar products into India

Buying property

We advise you to get legal advice before investing in property or businesses in India. There are often strict rules preventing the purchase of property by non-Indian nationals (for example in Goa). If the purchase is judged to violate local laws (for example, if you purchase whilst in India on a tourist visa), you're likely to lose all the money you have put in to the purchase, and could even face prosecution.

Satellite Phones and other technological equipment

It is illegal to enter India with a satellite phone without prior permission from the Indian authorities. There have been cases of Irish travellers being arrested for possession of satellite phones and you should seek advice from the Indian Embassy in Dublin before travelling to India with a satellite phone. You may also need prior permission from the Indian authorities to bring equipment like listening or recording devices, radio transmitters, powerful cameras or binoculars into India.

Alcohol

The laws governing alcohol vary from state to state. Consumption of alcohol is prohibited in Bihar, Gujarat, Manipur, Nagaland and the union territory of Lakshadweep. Consumption or possession of alcohol in prohibited states can lead to arrest without bail and charges which carry a sentence of 5 to 10 years. In some states foreign nationals and non-resident Indians are able to buy 30-day alcohol permits. Seek advice from your local travel agent/hotel or the authorities to ensure you're aware of any alcohol prohibition in the state.

LGBT

Homosexuality was decriminalised in September 2018; however, in many parts of the country conservative attitudes to homosexuality still exist and caution and discretion are advised at all times.

Natural Disasters and Climate

Natural disasters and climate

Climate

India is a vast and diverse country. Travel in certain parts can be problematic because of specific local conditions, so trips should be thoroughly planned and researched.

Parts of India are prone to extreme adverse weather, geological conditions and natural disasters, such as floods, landslides, cyclones and earthquakes. Parts of southern India were severely affected by the South Asian tsunami of December 2004. 

Flooding

Depending on the area of the country, the monsoon season lasts from June to October and every year causes numerous casualties. Monsoon rains cause flooding and landslides, which can cut off towns and villages and disrupt transport services, even in urban areas. If you are travelling during the monsoon season, make sure to check local weather conditions, follow the advice of local authorities and take all necessary precautions.

Heavy flooding in Kerala in 2018 caused around 360 people to lose their lives, as many as 700,000 to be displaced, and relief camps to be established across the state.

Additional Information

Additional information

Visas

There is an ongoing global outbreak of a novel coronavirus COVID-19 and a number of cases have been confirmed in India. In response, the Indian Government has announced that visas for all nationalities will be suspended from 12.00 GMT on 13 March 2020 until the 15 April 2020. All non-Indian citizens, including those possessing an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) visa, will not be allowed entry into India. Visa categories exempt from this suspension include diplomatic, official and employment visas.  If you have a compelling reason to travel to India you should consult your nearest Indian Embassy or diplomatic mission before attempting to travel to India.

Irish citizens require a visa to travel to India. If you arrive in India without a visa, you will be refused entry. If you over-stay your visa, you will be fined and may be prosecuted or detained and later deported. If you lose your passport, you will have to obtain an exit visa before you can leave India.

In response to the Novel Coronavirus outbreak, the States of Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim have banned the entry of foreign nationals indefinitely.

If you are transiting through India, you may need a transit visa if you must collect your baggage to transfer it to another airline. Baggage collection areas in Indian airports are normally after clearing immigration. Check this in advance with the Indian Embassy where you are located.

You should note that special permits are required to visit certain areas of the country including the Andamman Islands and parts of Sikkim. More information is available from the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs.

If you are unsure of what the entry requirements for India are, including visa details and other immigration information, ask your travel agent or contact the Visa Section of the Embassy of India in Dublin.

Passport

Your passport must be valid for a minimum of six months.

Registration

If you're arriving in India on a long-term multiple entry visa, you must register with the nearest Foreign Regional Registration Officer within 14 days of your arrival. If you do not register, you may not be allowed to exit India.

Health

Check with your doctor well in advance of travelling to see if you need any vaccinations for India. If you are travelling from a country with a risk of yellow fever or polio, you must have proof of vaccination or you will not be allowed to enter India. There are no exceptions to this rule.

Food and Water

Travellers to India should be aware that food and water hygiene standards are not comparable to Ireland. Water-borne and food-borne diseases can cause serious illness and simple precautions include avoiding ice cubes; not drinking tap water; avoiding uncooked and undercooked food, especially from street vendors; and drinking boiled water or bottled water with intact sealed caps. 

Mosquito-borne diseases

Malaria and dengue fever are present in India so care should be taken to avoid mosquito bites by covering up and using mosquito repellents. There is prescribed medication, which you can take to prevent malaria that your doctor can advise you on. However, there is no medication which you can take to prevent Dengue fever. Therefore, due care should be exercised to avoid mosquito bites where possible to reduce the potential of infection.  

Medical facilities

The availability of healthcare facilities in India is inconsistent, particularly in rural areas. Check with your travel insurance before you travel to see what hospitals they recommend.

Swine Flu

There has been a number of cases of Swine flu (H1N1) in India. You should consult your doctor before travelling for their advice, particularly on vaccinations that may be available.

Surrogacy

The Department of Justice and Equality have issued guidelines on obtaining Irish citizenship for children born of surrogacy arrangements. The guidelines can be accessed here.

This is the only guidance that can be given to people considering surrogacy.

Any Irish citizen who is considering entering into a surrogacy arrangement in India should be aware that the Government of India has announced that it will no longer support commercial surrogacy.

Embassy contact

Embassy Contact

If you are an Irish citizen in need of emergency assistance outside of opening hours please call 011-49403200 and leave a message.

This mailbox is checked regularly.

Embassy of Ireland
C17 Malcha Marg
Chanakyapuri
New Delhi 110 021
India

Tel: +91 11 4940 3200
Fax: +91 11 4059 1898

Monday to Friday 09:00 to 13:30 and 14:30 to 17:00

Contact us

Consulate Contact

Consulate General of Ireland
7th Floor, The Capital Building
Bandra Kurla Complex
Mumbai 400051
India

Tel: +91 22 4905 5645

Contact us

Honorary Consulate Contact

Dr. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw
Honorary Consul-General of Ireland
c/o Biocon Limited
20th K M Hosur Road
Electronics City PO
Bangalore 560 100
Karnataka
India

Tel: +91 80 2808 2006
Fax: +91 80 2852 1660

Email: Email us

Honorary Consulate Contact

Mr. Rajeev Mecheri
Honorary Consul of Ireland
Mecheri Centre
Number 49, Eldams Road
Teynampet
Chennai 600018
India

Tel: +91 44 6609 7700
Fax: +91 44 6609 7710

Email: Email us

Honorary Consulate Contact

Mr. Mayank Jalan,
Honorary Consul of Ireland,
KEVENTER AGRO LIMITED,
34/1 DIAMOND HARBOUR ROAD
KOLKATA 700027
India

Tel: +91 33 71056200
Tel: +91 33 71056201

Email: Email us