How should India deal with earthquakes
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In the states of West Bengal and Odisha, the impact of the cyclone "Yaas" with wind speeds of up to 170 km / h (hurricane force) and very heavy rainfall and thunderstorms is expected on May 26, 2021. The closure of Calcutta Airport and the discontinuation of long-distance train connections are to be expected.
The spread of COVID-19 continues to lead to restrictions in international air and travel traffic and impairment of public life.
There are currently warnings against unnecessary tourist trips to India.
Due to the current overload of the Indian health system, access to intensive medical care is very limited in many places. Germans living in India, especially if they do not yet have a COVID-19 vaccination, should consider temporarily returning to Germany until the medical care situation has stabilized.
India is particularly hard hit by COVID-19, the Indian health system is overloaded. New, more contagious variants of COVID-19 were also found there. which is why India is an area with a particularly high risk of infection (Virus variant area) is classified.
The World Health Organization (WHO) provides current and detailed figures.
Airlines flying to India are only allowed to carry passengers on presentation of a negative PCR test (max. 72 hours old). Before starting the journey, a self-declaration form must be filled out, in which the negative PCR test result must be uploaded. A printout of the registration and a copy of your passport should be carried with you. The use of the COVID-19 tracking app "Aarogya Setu" is mandatory. Current information on entry modalities, test and quarantine regulations can be found on the website of New Delhi Airport.
After entry, another COVID-19 test must be carried out at the airport for a fee. Transit passengers are not allowed to leave the arrivals area until the test result has been received, which can take a few hours.
The state of Maharashtra has a 14-day mandatory quarantine for travelers from the EU, Great Britain and the Middle East, some of which must be spent in a state institution.
Commercial international travel is currently prohibited in principle. Tourist entries remain prohibited until further notice; E-visas and visas for tourist purposes that have already been issued are suspended. Visas of the remaining categories that were previously suspended are valid again. Entry by water and air for other travel purposes should be possible again, provided that the validity of already issued visas has not expired or the corresponding visas have been newly issued.
Entry by land is still not possible.
Visas from Germans who have already entered India remain valid. A visa extension for Germans who are already in the country must be applied for online via the locally responsible Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO); a personal interview with the FRROs is not necessary. According to the FRROs, extensions of tourist visas should be granted free of charge; If you leave the country up to 30 days after the re-admission of commercial international travel, a fine for "overstay" is waived. The FRROs are now starting to extend tourist visas only in the form of an “Exit Permit”, within the period of validity of which you have to leave India.
Transit and onward travel
Traveling through and onward by land is not possible due to the closure of the borders with neighboring countries.
Commercial international scheduled flight connections remain prohibited until further notice. Entry and exit are currently only possible to a very limited extent with connections approved as repatriation flights. Some states (including Great Britain, Canada, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and Oman) have banned passengers who have previously been in India, including in transit. Transport guidelines are subject to constant short-term changes.
The number of connections offered by national rail and air traffic is greatly reduced.
Due to the Coronavirus Entry Ordinance of May 12, 2021 and the classification of India as a virus variant area, in addition to the existing registration and test obligation and extended and unconditional quarantine obligation, proof of a negative COVID-19 test in German and English must be provided when traveling from India to Germany , French, Spanish or Italian language, even if travelers are already fully vaccinated. Airlines and other carriers are otherwise not allowed to take people over the age of six with them.
The underlying PCR test may have been carried out a maximum of 72 hours, and a rapid antigen test in accordance with the requirements of the Robert Koch Institute a maximum of 24 hours before the planned entry.
The ban on transporting people in cross-border rail, bus, ship and air traffic in India does not apply to German nationals and people with residence and right of residence in the Federal Republic of Germany, but can lead to changes in the flight plan and reductions in flight connections to and from Germany .
Restrictions in the country
Curfews are currently being increasingly re-imposed, depending on location and situation. Many states also often introduce entry restrictions and control measures and other restrictive measures at short notice. In many places, chargeable rapid tests are carried out in heavily frequented locations. If the result is positive, the affected persons are taken to a hospital. Refusing to take the test is a criminal offense and can result in severe fines or imprisonment.
The local distance and hygiene regulations must be observed.
- Please inquire about the currently applicable entry and transport regulations at the Indian diplomatic mission or your airline before you start your journey.
- Make sure you comply with the AHA regulations and also follow the instructions from local authorities. High fines or other penalties can be imposed if the hygiene regulations are violated.
- Keep up to date with local Indian authorities for current regulations and follow the local media.
- Please do not currently book flights to Europe until the re-admission of commercial travel is officially announced, even if they are shown online as available. A current overview of bookable European return flights can be found on the website of the representations in India.
- If you are still in India for tourism and want to leave the country, make sure you keep your entries in the crisis prevention list up to date and find out about the German representations in India.
- Please inquire about the exact regulations of your Indian destination state before traveling if you are traveling within India.
- If you are planning to enter India, check with the Bureau of Immigration before booking your flight whether your visa currently entitles you to enter India.
- Stays in foreign countries can currently affect the possibility of entering other countries. Therefore, before starting any trip, find out about the current regulations on entry, transit and quarantine in the respective country of travel using the travel and safety information from the Federal Foreign Office.
- When you return to Germany, note the valid entry restrictions such as registration, test and quarantine regulations, inquire about the current conditions of carriage at the responsible company or your tour operator, if necessary, and contact the health department at your place of residence or residence if you are entering from a risk area . Further information is available in our continuously updated info box on COVID-19 / Coronavirus.
From trips to Jammu and Kashmir will strongly discouraged.
The security situation in India remains tense against the background of numerous serious terrorist attacks in recent years. This is particularly true in the context of national and religious holidays as well as major events.
It must be assumed that New Delhi and other major cities in particular are the focus of terrorist activities. There is still a tendency for places that are frequented by tourists to be increasingly targeted by terrorists.
In the past decades and also recently, bomb attacks were carried out in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, which resulted in many deaths. Individual actions directed against foreigners, including kidnappings, cannot be ruled out in the entire region. In some cases, curfews were imposed.
- Pay particular attention in busy locations (when visiting markets, public spaces, large crowds, and near government buildings and national landmarks) and on special occasions.
- Please note the worldwide safety information.
Union Territory Jammu and Kashmir
In the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, there are not only acts of terrorism but also unforeseeable clashes between demonstrators and the police or the army. The lifting of the special status for Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, 2019 further exacerbated the security situation. There are also increased armed clashes between Indian and Pakistani troops as well as with various separatist groups along the international border and the Armistice Line (LoC).
In the Jammu part of the country, the security situation is basically stable. However, unforeseeable violent clashes between demonstrators and security forces are also possible there
- Keep yourself informed about the security and infrastructure situation.
- Travel to Srinagar by air only if absolutely necessary.
- Do not hitchhike through these areas alone or with an unauthorized guide, and do not camp in remote locations.
- Avoid large crowds.
- Always follow the instructions of the local authorities and security forces.
Union Territory of Ladakh
In the Union territory of Ladakh, the security situation is basically stable. However, individual terrorist activities cannot be ruled out. Clashes between Indian and Pakistani and Indian and Chinese security forces may occur in the direct border regions.
- Be especially careful when traveling to the western parts of Ladakh.
- Get advice from trustworthy guides who are knowledgeable about the area when it comes to choosing the trekking routes.
- Avoid the immediate border areas with Pakistan and the People's Republic of China in Ladakh.
In the northeastern states (Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura) there are still isolated militant political groups and criminal gangs active in some regions. Tourists have not been targeted by attacks and kidnappings, at least so far, but they can still easily get into danger.
After a controversial change in nationality law was passed in December 2019, there were violent protests, violent clashes and an increased military presence with night curfews and other restrictions.
- Rely on safety-conscious, reliable local partners (tour operators, hotels / resorts, business partners) and behave appropriately when traveling to northeast India.
- Note that some areas require entry permits in addition to a visa.
- Get the latest information shortly before your trip, e.g. from local tour operators on the current security situation and any special permit requirements.
- Find out if your itinerary is through Naxalite Terrorism Affected Area.
Rest of the country
Protests and demonstrations, which are mostly peaceful, can also lead to violent clashes and traffic disruption.
The states of Bihar, Jharkand, Chhattisgarh, the extreme southwest of Orissa, the extreme north of Andhra Pradesh and the extreme east of Maharashtra have recorded - especially in rural areas - armed activities of a militant social revolutionary Maoist movement, which in individual districts up to the practice quasi-state violence. The activities have so far not been directed against foreigners, but there has been one kidnapping case in the past. Acts of sabotage and attacks on the public rail network have also occurred in the past.
Travel to the Andaman Islands is subject to some restrictions.
- Find out about the current security situation and possibly planned protests via the local media.
- Avoid demonstrations and large crowds in large areas.
- Follow the instructions of local security guards.
- Do not carry out tourist activities without a local guide who knows the place.
- Be sure to observe the relevant prohibitions issued by the local authorities.
Petty crime such as pickpocketing does occur. The risk of violent crime is rather low, especially in the touristic areas of India.
Tourists in New Delhi and other Indian cities are occasionally, and especially in New Delhi city center, being pressured into buying overpriced trips by local tour operators using aggressive sales methods. These offices regularly pretend to be "officially recognized" in order to specify special quality and reputation.
Local taxi drivers sometimes work with these tour operators and dubious hoteliers and drive tourists there specifically, especially directly after arriving at the airport in Delhi, with excuses as to why the intended destination cannot be reached. Tourists - especially in Rajasthan and Goa - have repeatedly fallen victim to well-organized con artists, including the offer of lucrative jewelery shops.
Foreigners, especially women traveling alone or in small groups, are occasionally affected by violent, including sexual assault, also in tourist centers. To this end, drugs or knockout drops are sometimes administered through drinks.
- Always be guided by caution and always practice behavior that is appropriate to the situation and is culturally aware. This is particularly true of women traveling alone, given the reports of sexual assault.
- Be particularly vigilant when booking travel with Indian travel agents and review any offers presented.
- Immediately contact the local police (in Delhi the special 24-hour tourist police, emergency number 100) should you get in any distress.
- Keep your money, ID, driver's license, air tickets and other important documents safe.
- Carry your mobile phone concealed and, if possible, not openly in your hand.
- Take only the cash you need for the day and a credit card for security, but no unnecessary valuables.
- Exercise the usual caution when using credit cards, e.g. in restaurants, shops, online bookings and at ATMs.
- Be particularly vigilant in large crowds such as at airports, train stations, in the subway, on the bus and watch out for your valuables.
- Do not leave food and drinks unattended in a restaurant or bar in an unfamiliar environment.
- Be skeptical of unfamiliar e-mails, profit notifications, offers and requests for help from alleged acquaintances. Do not disclose any data about yourself; if necessary, make sure yourself personally or contact the police.
Nature and climate
In particular, the northern parts of the country along the Himalayas are in a seismically very active zone, so that earthquakes occur.
The climate is independent of the monsoon from July to September. From April to June there is a hot dry season. There are more seasonal changes in northern India.
During the main monsoon season from July to September, heavy rainfalls repeatedly trigger floods and landslides in large parts of the country. Far-reaching traffic disruptions, including in air traffic, are common at this time.
Cyclones and tropical storms are not uncommon on the east coast of India, especially in the months of September to December; in the Bay of Bengal also from April to June.
Infrastructure / traffic
Traffic routes may be impaired due to measures related to COVID-19 containment, see Current.
There is a functioning domestic transport network with air, bus and train connections and within the cities there is also metro and rickshaws, although this only partially offers the basic standard.
During the main monsoon season, roads can be impassable at times, train connections can be interrupted or individual places can be temporarily inaccessible.
There is left-hand traffic. Roads are often in poor condition. Technical monitoring of vehicles, as is customary in Central Europe, is not carried out in India, and traffic regulations are not always observed in the usual way. Serious traffic accidents are particularly common when driving overland. Adequate medical care, especially in emergencies or accidents, cannot be guaranteed in large parts of the country, and a reliably functioning rescue service does not exist everywhere in cities either.
Sidewalks often do not exist or pose a significant risk of accidents such as unexpected tripping hazards or unsecured or marked excavation pits. Even small accidents can lead to interference by bystanders and disputes.
- Exercise caution in traffic.
- Avoid driving overland in the dark as much as possible.
- Always be defensive and cautious.
- Use smartphone apps to order a taxi or negotiate the fare before you start your journey, if possible.
The international driving license is required and is only valid in conjunction with the national German driving license.
Hikes and trekking tours
North India is a popular destination for trekking tourists who soar to great heights. Often there is not enough time for a gradual height adjustment. Different forms of acute altitude sickness are possible, see information sheet on altitude sickness.
In India there is no professional, private infrastructure for emergency aid - especially for search and rescue operations in the event of accidents in the high mountains. Aid measures must be initiated bureaucratically and time-consuming via the Foreign Ministry and the military facilities.
- If possible, go on trekking tours with trustworthy companies and never alone.
- When hiking and trekking tours, make sure that you are well prepared and equipped, the weather conditions and insurance, even in the event of an emergency.
- Leave your travel plans and usual availabilities in the accommodations.
Special travel permits are among other things. needed for parts of Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and for the Lakkadives (Lakshadweep Islands). The permits must be obtained in India before entering the states mentioned. The authorization requirement for travel to Nagaland, Mizoram and the Andamans has been lifted. Registration upon arrival is required. The Nicobar Islands are still inaccessible to tourists. Information on travel permits can be obtained from the Indian diplomatic missions in Germany.
Special instructions on how to behave
In order not to hurt the religious feelings of the population, religious sites, objects and symbols should be treated with restraint and respect, especially when taking photos and choosing clothing.
- Orientate yourself to the behavior of the local population when visiting religious sites.
Homosexuality is no longer a criminal offense in India. On September 6, 2018, after 158 years, the Supreme Court amended the article of the Indian penal code from the colonial era and legalized consensual sexual intercourse among same-sex adults. Same-sex partners should nonetheless appear discreet and cautious in public due to a lack of social acceptance in some cases.
Possession of even the smallest amounts of drugs is forbidden and is punishable by long prison sentences. This also applies to the export of protected animal skins and plants.
In the individual Indian states, different regulations apply to the purchase and consumption of alcohol. For example, the minimum age for alcohol consumption varies between 18 and 25 years.
Some Indian states only allow alcohol for medical purposes, while others require a special permit to buy, transport, or consume alcohol.
The penalties for violating the respective regulations can sometimes be very severe.
- Find out more about the regulations governing the purchase and consumption of alcohol in the respective states
Owning and trading e-cigarettes has been banned since the end of November 2019 and can be punished with heavy fines or even imprisonment.
Illegal stay in India - without a valid passport and / or residence permit, including exceeding the period of validity of the visa and violating the registration requirement - can be punished with long prison sentences or fines. Staying in protected and restricted areas without a permit is also a criminal offense that is punishable by imprisonment. This also applies to some touristically interesting areas e.g. in Ladakh and Sikkim or on the Andamans.
Owning and using satellite phones without government approval is illegal in India and is also a criminal offense.
Money / credit cards
The local currency is the rupee (INR). Bank and credit cards are accepted by most major banks and in upscale hotels, restaurants, and shopping centers. Credit cards can counteract problems with the supply of cash, especially in rural areas.
Entry and customs
Entry and transit regulations may currently differ due to measures to contain COVID-19, see Current.
Entry and import regulations for German citizens can change at short notice without the Foreign Office being informed beforehand. You can only obtain legally binding information and / or information that goes beyond this information on the entry and customs regulations for importing goods directly from the representatives of your destination country.
You can find the customs regulations for Germany on the website of German customs and via the “Customs and Travel” app, or you can inquire about them by telephone.
Entry is possible for German citizens with the following documents:
- Passport: Yes
- Temporary passport: Yes
- Identity card: No
- Provisional identity card: No
- Children's passport: Yes
German citizens need a visa to enter India.
The visa must be applied for at an Indian diplomatic mission or as an e-Visa before entering the country. Visa upon arrival ("on arrival") are not possible.
The e-Visa must be applied for no later than four days before the planned date of entry. The duration of the authorized stay varies between the different categories for e-visas (e.g. tourism, business or conference visas). Indianvisaonline offers more detailed information about which applications are to be made. In individual cases there are said to have been difficulties with online payment for e-TV. A printout of the Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) must be shown on request.
A 24/7 hotline is available at + 91-11-2430 0666 or [email protected]
Regular tourist visas are generally issued with a validity period of 365 days from the date of issue and entitle you to a stay of up to 90 days per visit. As a rule, multiple entries are possible (multiple entry visa).
There are repeated expulsions because activities in India such as NGO work or journalism are, in the opinion of the Indian authorities, incompatible with the status of a tourist visa.
- When applying for the e-Visa via Indianvisaonline, make sure that the payment has actually been made and always have a printout of the Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) with you.
- Always apply for a specific occasion-related visa, e.g. conference visa, journalist visa or business / employment / entry (X) visa for volunteering.
- For more information on tourist and work visas (FAQ Tourist Visa and FAQ Employment Visa), please contact the Indian Ministry of the Interior or the Bureau of Immigration.
Extension / exceeding of the stay
An extension of the validity of the tourist visa after entry is only possible in justified exceptional cases / emergencies by the responsible local Foreigners ’Regional Registration Office (FRRO).
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