Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Travel plans of many from India, including a chess prodigy, go awry as Serbia imposes 7-day quarantine

New Delhi: A sudden requirement of 7-day quarantine by Serbia for arrivals from India starting July 11 has left travel plans of scores of people, including Delhi-based 15-year-old chess player Kabir Wadhawan, in a quandary.

Over 200 were left stranded at the airport on Sunday and the Indian embassy in Belgrade swung into action to come to their aid.

Belgrade has emerged as a transit point for travel from India to Canada ever since the latter suspended flights to and from India on April 23, 2021, due to the devastating second wave here.

A large number of travellers from India are since then flying one-stop to Belgrade; getting an RT-PCT test conducted there and then flying to Canada from Belgrade with a negative report from Serbia. Canada may partially relax restrictions on travel from India from July 21.

The 7-day quarantine requirement caught people by surprise. To be fair, all countries have been changing their quarantine rules and other travel requirements during the pandemic at short notices.

“Indians stranded at Belgrade Airport who have flight in 2-3 days may stay at airport. PCR Test will be done at airport 1 day before departure. Persons with flights after 7 days need to register and can go to hotel,” the Indian embassy in Serbia tweeted Sunday.

12/07/21 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

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