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Flights from India to Canada may resume next week — but there's a catch

When the flight ban was introduced on April 22, it was slated to last 30 days. 
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Transport Canada says flights from India may resume on Sept. 27 but the ban will only be lifted if passengers on flights test negative for COVID-19. 

Transport Canada says flights from India may resume on Sept. 27 — but the ban will only be lifted if passengers on three initial flights test negative for COVID-19 this week. 

As Canada prepares for the return of direct flights from India, Transport Canada extended the Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) that restricts all direct commercial and private passenger flights to Canada from India until Sept. 26 at midnight.

On Wednesday (Sept. 22), however, three direct flights from India arrived in Canada. All passengers on these initial flights were tested for COVID-19 upon arrival to ensure that the new measures are working. If the enhanced safety measures are deemed effective, Transport Canada will allow the resumption of direct flights. 

Canada will continue to "take a risk-based and measured approach to re-opening the border," explains a news release. 

If the first three test flights are deemed safe, travellers eligible to enter Canada will be able to board direct flights from India to Canada with the following additional measures:  

  • Travellers must have proof of a negative COVID-19 molecular test from the approved Genestrings Laboratory at the Delhi airport taken within 18 hours of the scheduled departure of their direct flight to Canada.
  • Prior to boarding, air operators will be checking the travellers’ test results ensuring they are eligible to come to Canada, and that fully vaccinated travellers have uploaded their information into the ArriveCAN mobile app or website. Travellers who are unable to meet these requirements will be denied boarding.

After the resumption of direct flights, travellers who are eligible to enter Canada who depart India for Canada via an indirect route will continue to be required to obtain, within 72 hours of departure, a valid negative COVID-19 molecular test from a third country – other than India – before continuing their journey to Canada.

When the flight ban was introduced on April 22, it was slated to last 30 days. 

While the Government of Canada continues to advise against travel outside of the country, it is currently developing a coronavirus vaccine passport program with the provinces and territories that is expected to commence this fall. 

No matter where you plan to travel, make sure you check the Travel Advice and Advisories page for your destination twice: once when you are planning your trip, and again shortly before you leave.

Safety and security conditions may change between the date you book your travel and your departure date.

Find more information about entering the country with the Government of Canada's pre-travel checklists