Saturday, August 21, 2021

Indians with travel plans to Canada struggling with norm to take RTPCR test in third country

New Delhi: A flight from India to Dubai, over nine hours layover to take next flight to Barcelona, two hours for next flight to Mexico, two days' stay in Mexico to take a an RT-PCR test and ultimately a flight to Vancouver, is all what 19-year-old Lareina Kumar had to do to arrive at the university of her dreams in Canada.

Kumar's trip to four countries is not part of a tourism itinerary, but she did not have a choice as Canada has restricted direct flights from India in view of the Covid-19 situation during second wave.

With the consecutive extension of the ban on direct flights, the only way for Indian students who have got admission to Canada varsities is to take a connecting flight to Canada, where they will have to obtain a negative RT-PCR certificate from a third country.

That third country has to be on the approved list of Canada.

The students and parents are demanding that the issue of Indian RT-PCR tests not being accepted should be taken up by India with the Canadian government, saying the current procedure is not only inconvenient but also highly expensive.

While Kumar had her travel sorted by spending over Rs 5 lakh on a trip that would usually cost less than Rs 1.5 lakh, several others like her are still figuring out their way around the possible route to take, the excessive expenditure involved and the uncertainty.

21/08/21 Tribune

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