Foreign travel advice

India

Important Coronavirus (COVID-19) travel

It is illegal to travel abroad from the UK for holidays. Follow current COVID-19 rules where you live: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

In England, you must have a permitted reason to travel abroad and complete the declaration form.

Some countries have closed borders, and any country may further restrict travel or bring in new social distancing rules with little warning. Check our advice for each country you will visit or transit through.

When you return, follow the rules to enter the UK from abroad (except from Ireland).

Summary

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advises against all travel to:

  • the immediate vicinity of the border with Pakistan, other than at Wagah (currently closed due to coronavirus)
  • Jammu and Kashmir, except for (i) travel within the city of Jammu, (ii) travel by air to the city of Jammu, and (iii) travel within the Union Territory of Ladakh

The tourist destinations of Pahalgam, Gulmarg and Sonamarg, the city of Srinagar and the Jammu-Srinagar national highway are within the areas where the FCDO advises against all travel.

The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to:

  • the state of Manipur, except the state capital Imphal and the Meiti Valley areas, which include Loktak Lake, Keibul Lamjao National Park and the Imphal War Cemetery
  • the remainder of India based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks

For more information, see Local travel and Terrorism

Travel to India is subject to entry restrictions

In some states this may include mandatory quarantine in an institutional isolation facility at your own expense.

Detailed guidelines and the Standard Operating Procedure for international arrivals are available on the Ministry of Health website.

For more information you should consult your airline, read the announcement by the Government of India Ministry of Aviation and sign up for email alerts so you can keep up to date with our latest travel advice. New restrictions can be put in place at short notice to curb the spread of the virus and arrival rules may vary between states. You should closely monitor the instructions of local authorities and media reports.

You should co-operate with local authorities and declare any symptoms that you may develop.

See Entry requirements for more information before you plan to travel.

Preparing for your return journey to the UK

If you’re returning to the UK from overseas, you will need to:

If your return journey to the UK transits another country, you should check whether it is subject to a travel ban or any other additional requirements. If so, contact your travel provider.

Check our advice on foreign travel during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and sign up for email alerts for this travel advice.

If you’re planning travel to India, find out what you need to know about coronavirus there in the Coronavirus section.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check it provides sufficient cover. See the FCDO guidance on foreign travel insurance.

For information about COVID-19 vaccines, see the Coronavirus page.

State level elections are due to take place in West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry from 27 March to 29 April 2021. The results will be announced on 2 May. In the lead up to the elections, political rallies and public meetings will occur across these states. You should exercise caution, avoid large gatherings, monitor local media for the latest information and follow instructions of the local authorities. For more information, please visit the Election Commission of India website.

Various farmers unions are continuing their protest at Delhi’s borders following their march to Delhi on 26 and 27 November 2020. Traffic into the city may be affected and cause delays for both private and public transportation and other disruptions. Protests may intensify at short notice especially around national days of importance. You should closely monitor local media reports and follow the instructions of local authorities.

Over one million British nationals visited India in 2018. Most visits are trouble-free.

Severe air pollution is a major hazard to public health, especially during the winter months. New Delhi and other North Indian cities are currently experiencing extremely high levels of pollution. See Air pollution

Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in India. Recent attacks have targeted public places including those visited by foreigners. There have been recent media reports suggesting Daesh (formerly referred to as ISIL) may have an interest in attacking targets in India. There may be an increased threat to places visited by British nationals such as religious sites, markets, festival venues and beaches. You should be vigilant at this time, monitor local media and take all precautions for your safety. See Terrorism

Maoist (or Naxalite) insurgents specifically target police officers, paramilitary forces and government officials in parts of India, causing several deaths and injuries in 2019/20. The government of India has identified some districts as the worst affected. See Local travel

You should avoid protests and large gatherings. Stampedes have occurred during some events with large crowds, including at political rallies and religious gatherings, resulting in deaths and injuries. They can happen without warning and occasionally result in disorder. See Political situation

Travel in India during the monsoon season (June to October) can be hazardous. See Monsoons

UK health authorities have classified India as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. For information and advice about the risks associated with Zika virus, visit the National Travel Health Network and Centre website.

The Indian Ministry of Tourism has a 24 hour multi-lingual telephone helpline on toll free number 1800 111 363 providing visitors to India with information about travel and tourism.

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. Consular support is severely limited in parts of India where the FCDO has existing advice against all travel and all but essential travel (as set out above).