Unlock 5.0 International Flights: After the Unlock 5.0 guidelines were announced by the Centre, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) extended the ban on international flights till October 31. However, Indians can travel to certain countries under “air bubbles” mechanism which has been operating since mid-July. Also Read - Delhi Records Over COVID 5000 Fresh Cases For Second Consecutive Day, Death Toll Mounts to 6423

Why was the ban on international flights extended Also Read - Aarogya Setu App Issue: Centre to Take Action Against Officials Responsible For Info Lapses

The Centre has not allowed resumption of international flights in its latest Unlock 5 guidelines which will remain enforced from October 1 till October 31. The DGCA’s decision which came after the Centre’s guidelines is in line with the current lockdown norms. The Centre had earlier suggested that the resumption of flights will depend on the pandemic situation in India as well as abroad. With the pandemic situation in the country not showing any signs of improvement, the Centre has maintained its ban on international flights Also Read - Maharashtra Extends Lockdown Till Nov 30, Shutdown to Continue in Containment Zones

How can you fly abroad?

India has established Air Bubble arrangements with many countries including Kenya, Bhutan, US, the UK, Canada, the UAE, Qatar, Nigeria, Maldives, Japan, Iraq, Germany etc. Under an air bubble pact between two countries, special international passenger flights can be operated by their airlines into each other’s territories under restrictive conditions.

Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri earlier said that air bubbles have also been proposed with Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Nepal.

Also, special international passenger flights have been operating in India under the ‘Vande Bharat Mission’ to bring back stranded citizens.

Are visas being issued for these international locations?

Visa applications have been resumed for 25 countries with a few countries, Indian Express said in a report. This means that these countries have resumed application process for certain categories. Europe’s Schengen region is only accepting Category D visa applications which is given to individuals who are studying, working or residing permanently in one of the Schengen countries, the report by the leading newspaper added. On the other hand, the US is accepting visa applications for student visas, work visas of ‘H’ and ‘L’ classes.

While South Korea and Ireland are only accepting long-stay visa applications, countries like the UK, the UAE are accepting applications for all visa categories.