India Travel Alerts and Warnings

Get the latest information on COVID-19, natural disasters, civil unrest and how it may affect your travel plans to India.


Photo © Getty Images/Anton Litvintsev

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) lockdown and travel restrictions in India - 25 March, 2020

From March 25, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for "total lockdown" in India for 21 days to stop the spread of COVID-19 infections.

As of March 13, 2020, the Indian government has suspended all existing visas, except diplomatic, official, U.N. or International Organizations, employment, and project visas, until April 15, 2020. More information here.

Cyclone Fani - May 2019

Category 4 Cyclone Fani is currently making landfall on India's north-east coast. Local authorities have increased efforts to evacuate over one million people from the low lying and coastal areas in the state of Odisha prior to the cyclone's arrival. The cyclone is currently generating sustained winds up to 112mph (180kph) and will bring heavy rain and flooding as it tracks eastward towards Bangladesh.

Kolkata Airport will be closed until Saturday May 4th, 6pm local time. Train services have been canceled or diverted.

Travelers should keep updated with local news reports, government travel advisories and follow all official warnings. Carry identification with you at all times. Failure to comply with directives from government authorities may result in you not being covered by travel insurance.

Tensions with Pakistan - March 2019

UPDATE: Pakistan's Civil Aviation Authority partially opened their airspace on Thursday 28th February to allow some commercial flights to operate. News reports have indicated that Pakistan will re-open its airspace on Friday 1st March, however there may be a backlog with flights to/from Asia to Europe, US and Canada. Check with your airline before departure.

Due to increasing tensions, Pakistan has closed its airspace until further notice, which will disrupt many flights to/from Asia to Europe, US and Canada. The closure is in response to Pakistani military shooting down two Indian fighter jets. Pakistan and India have had a long held dispute over the region of Kashmir which has seen conflict and hundreds of people lose their lives, with the most recent incident involving a suicide bomb on February 14th which killed 40 military personnel.

Several air carriers such as Etihad, Emirates, Qatar Aiways, Gulf Air, Fly Dubai, Sri Lankan Airlines, Thai Airways and Air Canada had suspended flights to Pakistan and some Indian airports. 

Some airlines flying out of Asian cities to Europe have had to re-route for fueling requirements via Dubai or Mumbai or canceled services completely.

Kerala Flooding - August 2018

Over 350 people have been killed and 800,000+ people have been displaced due to flooding in the southern state of Kerala. Kerala, a popular spot for travelers due to its picturesque beaches, river cruising and tea plantation covered hills - has experienced heavy rains, flash flooding and landslides since early August.

Authorities are working around the clock to rescue people and provide relief supplies. Many transport services and routes have been disrupted. Cochin International Airport continues to remain closed (until 26th August) with Kochi Naval airstrip opened up to commercial aircraft as of Monday 20th August. 

Severe Flooding in Mumbai - August 29th, 2017

An unusally heavy monsoon rain that has been sweeping across South Asia deluged Mumbai this week, briefly shutting down local transport and causing flight delays. 152mm of rain -- nearly a month's worth -- fell on South Mumbai between Monday and Tuesday morning.

If you are traveling in the region, or one of the other areas of India that have been affected, you should follow all directions of police, emergency services and city officials. If it is practicable you should call the World Nomads emergency assistance service.

How to stay safe during a flood

  • If you are a smart traveller, you should already have an emergency kit prepared containing first aid, water, torches, food, medicines, and emergency contacts. If you don't, put one together, even if the area you are visiting is not flood prone.
  • Know where to go if an emergency hits, and take a quick look at the geography surrounding where you are staying - Where is high ground? Where will water come in to create a bottleneck? A quick analysis could be vital if push comes to shove.
  • Keep up to date with news regarding the area you are staying in – check websites, talk to locals, and pay attention to radio or TV. Staying aware of what is going on is important, even if it is for a few minutes a day.

What to do during a flood

Safety inside your accommodation

  • Firstly, it is vital that you keep aware of, and pay heed to, any evacuation notices delivered by emergency services. If you are told to leave, leave.
  • While there may be some situations that require evacuation, not everyone needs to leave their spot in the event of a flood, especially two story hotels or apartments that end up simply water logged downstairs. Although in apartment blocks, a word of caution – if the bottom levels become filled you could be marooned for days if your elevator system malfunctions.
  • If water creeps inside your accommodation, be very careful with electrical appliances. The safest idea is to switch off as many as you can – and obviously, don't use your devices if you are standing in water.
  • If you are stuck inside and need to raise an alarm, hang a white sheet outside your window or on your roof so emergency services can spot you.

If you need to evacuate

If circumstances reach a point where it is essential to leave where you are staying, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

  • Wear study clothes, and strong shoes - the more water resistant the better
  • Take enough supplies that will last you for a few days, but leave behind any large pieces of luggage. If you get caught in a wave, you don't want to have cumbersome gear weighing you down. Clothes and belongings can be replaced. You can't.
  • Under no circumstances should you EVER drive through floodwaters. Engineering experts say that a human body in a stream of water is far safer, physics wise, than a car. Cars are filled with air, which makes them a bouncing, bobbing death machine.
  • Don't swim or wade through floodwaters, even a slow moving current is enough to knock you over, and the currents of floodwaters are extremely unpredictable. Floodwaters also contain debris traps – branches, pieces of metal, sewage and animals.
  • The best idea is to find the highest and most visible ground you possibly can, and stay put. You might get bored in the same place and want to move elsewhere, but if you have found the highest ground you possibly can, it's the best you can do in a devastating flood. You should only move from your location if you believe that you are about to face severe danger.
  • Make sure you have enough food and water, and try your best to make yourself visible so emergency services can rescue you.

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