Indian Sub Continent 18th August 2022

The Indian sub-continent is beginning to open up for travel. Entry for business and tourists to the Indian sub-continent is becoming easier although India has the tightest restrictions. Covid entry regulations are constantly evolving, so do check national websites and the FCDO travel site.

Travellers will find the Indian sub-continent fascinating although an often tiring area to visit. We believe crime levels are significantly lower compared to Latin America although the risk from road traffic accidents is greater, driving in India has to be seen to be believed at times! 

Contracting Dengue Fever is certainly a risk in many parts. Use insect repellent with 50% DEET to reduce the risk. In the winter months pollution is a serious problem in the big cites of India and seems to be only getting worse.
 

India

The country is recovering from Covid which has had a huge impact on medical services.  Terrorism remains an on-going problem in some areas of India. The threat stems from Islamist terrorism. However, travellers are generally not the target and therefore, the risk tends to be incidental - wrong place, wrong time. The FCDO is advising against all travel to most of Jammu and Kashmir.  On 4 August 2019, the India government announced it was withdrawing the 'special status' that Kashmir has had since independence. Kashmir has been in lockdown since and relations with Pakistan have worsened.

It's worth remembering that approximately 275 people die in India every day from road traffic accidents (RTAs) - that is the greatest threat to travellers or those backpacking in the country. In November 21 severe smog has returned to Delhi and other major cities and is likley to remain an issue trhoughout the winter. The year long farmers protests should now end as the Modi government backed down in mid November and announced it would repeal the 3 controversial laws. The are increasing signs of increase religious tension between tghe majority Hindu population and the Muslims. Whilst visitors will not generally be affacted it is worth being aware of the issue. India generally very good mobile and internet connections, oftern muc h better than parts of Europe. 

 
Bangladesh

Over recent year, this country has been relatively unstable and there is an on-going risk from terrorism. The monsoon season always causes extensive flooding and a number of deaths.
 

Pakistan


Pakistan in in a stack of flux as Imran Khan was ousted from power on 9 April 22. The economy is in bad shape and Khan has angered many countries, especailly the US and the UK by visiting Moscow and signing a trade deal on the very day that Russain invaded Ulraine.  He had lost support of his coalition partners and critically the Army. Relations with India remains very strained after the flair up in early 2019 resulting in Pakistan shooting down an Mig-21 fighter jet over the Kashmir region. The situation has been made worse since India withdrew in August 2019, the special status Kashmir held since 1947. Expect relations between both countries to remain very tense. In August 2022 heavy rainfall across the country has led to over 500 deaths.
 

Sri Lanka

The economy of Sri Lanka has suffered badly from the covid pandemic which has hit the touritst industry hard. Tourism was already struggling to recover from the 2019 Easter bombing. There has been a run on the currency and numerous power cuts. Violent demonstrations broke out in late March 2022 which have continued throughout the summer. On 10 July protesters stormed the president's resident house and parliament building & President Rajapaksa fled the countrty on 14 July. 2022. The tourist industry has been protected and many hotels have their own generators but fuel shortages are a major issue.  The country will take a considerable time to recover as it has many fundamental economic issues.

On Easter Monday 2019, a series of bombs exploded around the capital Colombo killing over 290 people. The police quickly arrested a number of cells and the risk from further terrorist is assessed a low. Visiting Sri Lanka prior to India is a good idea, a less frantic introduction to the wonderful Indian sub-continent. Have a look at our Safety Net section of our website as previous travellers has added some useful travel ideas. The train journey from Ella to Kandi is a must.  Nepal

Nepal is a wonderfully calm, friendly and very rewarding county to visit. It does suffer from high poverty rates and a poor economic situation which has been devastated by Covid as tourism is so crucial to the economy. Nepal is an active earthquake zone.   
 

Myanmar/Burma

As a result of the military coup in Myanmar/Burma on 1 February 2021, the FCDO now advises against all but essential travel to Burma. In the past 30 years, Burma has been subjected to long periods of military rule during which travel has been possible but this is not recommended until the FCDO changes its travel advice.  

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