This updates our message of April 5, 2020 with new instructions for U.S. citizens who are seeking assistance in returning to the United States. Please read it carefully.
Now is the time to act if you want to return to the United States. The U.S. Mission India is facilitating a series of flights to the United States this week, including:
· Delhi to San Francisco – April 6
· Delhi to San Francisco – April 7
· Delhi to San Francisco – April 8
· Mumbai to Atlanta – April 7
· Mumbai to Atlanta – April 10
We do not know for how long U.S. government-organized flights returning to the United States will continue after this week. We urge U.S. citizens who want to return to the United States to take advantage of the current opportunities.
Please see below for specifics depending on your location in India. U.S. citizens interested in a seat on a flight must do two things:
· Complete the form at https://tinyurl.com/uscit-india so that the U.S. embassy has your specific information and location, and
· Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at https://step.state.gov/to receive critical information from the embassy concerning flight opportunities.
All passengers MUST have a valid U.S. passport or other U.S. travel document (e.g. green card, visa) to board the flight. If any member of your party does not have a currently valid U.S. travel document, please note this in the form.
For U.S. citizens in northern and eastern India: The Embassy is facilitating transportation to Delhi from some cities in northern and eastern India and will make those details available to U.S. citizens via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)once the arrangements are finalized. Currently, we are planning flights from Dehradun (April 6), Amritsar (April 7), and Chandigarh (April 7) to Delhi for onward flights to San Francisco. We are also planning for bus transportation to Delhi from Ludhiana (April 6) and Dharamshala (April 7). Given the situation on the ground, even these plans are subject to change. We urge U.S. citizens to be ready to depart on short notice.
Travelers may wish to make arrangements to stay at hotels near the Indira Gandhi International Airport, the following Delhi hotels are currently accepting reservations from U.S. citizens: Andaz Aerocity, JW Marriott Aerocity, Leela Ambience Gurgaon, Pullman Aerocity, Leela Palace, Hyatt Regency, Taj Palace, and ITC Maurya. In addition, OYO Hotels has offered rooms to U.S. citizens in the Delhi/NCR region. OYO hotels near the Airport include OYO 19046 Hotel Airport Suites and OYO 9030 Hotel Delhi Airport Plaza.
For U.S. citizens in southern and western India: We are arranging domestic charter flights from Chennai (April 7 and April 10), and Hyderabad (April 7and April 10) to allow U.S. citizens from those areas to reach Mumbai in time for onward flights to the United States. We are also working to arrange transportation for U.S. citizens in Bangalore to Chennai for the April 10 Chennai-Mumbai flight, and will make those details available via STEP once the arrangements are finalized.
Passengers with confirmed flights who are based outside Mumbai and using ground transportation should arrive the day before the flight and are responsible for finding accommodations. The consulate negotiated a special rate for hotel reservations at the Sofitel BKC and the Trident BKC. To make a reservation and for pricing information, contact the hotel directly and ask to speak with a manager. These hotels are within walking distance of the U.S. consulate, though passengers may choose to arrange their own accommodations and transportation to and from the consulate.
Flights from New Delhi and Mumbai are chartered by the U.S. government and the final cost per ticket has not yet been determined. Confirmed passengers must sign an evacuation loan repayment agreement; no payment is required up front. Passengers will be billed by the U.S. Department of State after the completion of the trip. Tickets are available through this billing mechanism only and may not be purchased directly or in advance. In addition to the cost of the flight, you will be billed for any U.S. government-chartered ground transportation. You are responsible for arranging and paying for any other expenses, such as hotel stays, meals, and onward domestic travel in the United States.
Seats on U.S. government repatriation flights are allocated based on established evacuation guidelines that prioritize passengers using a variety of criteria, including age and certain medical conditions. Some passengers who meet priority criteria have already received invitations to submit additional information. Confirmed passengers must sign an evacuation loan repayment agreement. If you have filled out the form at https://tinyurl.com/uscit-india, but have not received an invitation, please continue to monitor your email, including in your spam and junk folders. Note that those who have received invitations should follow the reply instructions within the time frame specified in the email, or their seat may be offered to another passenger.
We recommend you monitor our social media (https://twitter.com/USAndIndia and https://www.facebook.com/India.usembassy/) in addition to our website, and for U.S. citizens to consider using private group messaging apps to facilitate travel to Delhi or Mumbai for repatriation flights to the United States.
We urge all U.S. citizens seeking to depart India on charter flights to be vigilant about scammers. There are several individuals claiming to be organizing charter flights to the United States and soliciting personal data and money. The Indian government will only authorize flights in conjunction with the U.S. government. Only flights being organized directly by the U.S. Embassy or consulates have been approved by the Government of India. Please do not provide any information to entities not directly affiliated with the U.S. government. We urge you to continue to monitor the official information being pushed out through STEP notifications, on the embassy’s website, and on our Facebook (U.S. Embassy India) and Twitter (@USandIndia) accounts.
We encourage all U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents who wish to return to the United States to evaluate their options and risks. Current Government of India and Center for Disease Control guidelines advise sheltering in place where possible to do so.
Actions to Take:
· Check your email regularly for messages from the U.S. Mission to India and consider carefully whether to take advantage of the flights being offered now. There are no guarantees there will be additional flights.
· Have your travel documents ready. A valid U.S. passport and Indian visa will be required for travel.
· Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.
· Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information on COVID-19.
· For information on what you can do to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19, please see the CDC’s latest recommendations.
· Visit the COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov for the latest information regarding U.S. and foreign countries’ quarantine requirements and other global impacts. Please also refer to the state.gov FAQs.
· Check with your airlines or cruise lines regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions.
· Visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19 for information on conditions in India.
· Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website for the latest travel restrictions affecting travel to the United States.
· Review the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare website for information on COVID-19 and Indian travel advisories.
· U.S. Embassy New Delhi
Shanti Path, Chanakyapuri 110021
· U.S. Consulate General Mumbai (Bombay)
C-49, G-Block, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra East, Mumbai 400051
· U.S. Consulate General Chennai (Madras)
220 Anna Salai, Gemini Circle, 600006
· U.S. Consulate General Kolkata (Calcutta)
5/1 Ho Chi Minh Sarani, 700071
· U.S. Consulate General Hyderabad
Paigah Palace, 1-8-323, Chiran Fort Lane, Begumpet, Secunderabad 500003
· State Department – Consular Affairs
888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444
· India Travel Advisory and Country Page
· Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive security updates
· Follow us on Facebook and Twitter
This News article is a courtesy of Health Alert. Please visit appropriate website or contact listed in this news. ASEI has not verified or responsible for any information.