Aerial photograph of the Ritz Carlton Hotel and resort Manama Bahrain. Photo: Ben Nicholson / Alamy Stock Photo
The current COVID-19 crisis has pushed several countries to block off travel from India. The UK, US and many European countries, among others, have closed their doors to anyone who has been in India in the past 15 days. With the UAE also restricting travel from India, Bahrain has emerged as the next best option for travellers to quarantine and wait out the buffer period before making their onward journeys. The country currently does not require passengers to quarantine on arrival, though a period of self-isolation is necessary. If you’re planning a layover in Bahrain, here’s everything you need to know:
Flying to Bahrain from India
Get your e-visa:
You will need a pre-approved e-visa to travel to Bahrain. While on-arrival visas are available for travellers from India, conditions apply. You can book your e-visa and find more details on Bahrain’s e-visa portal
Download the ‘BeAware Bahrain’ app:
- Activate and download the ‘BeAware Bahrain’ application prior to travel. You will need to sign an online self-isolation agreement on the app
- Upload your negative RT PCR report—taken no more than 48 hours before departure—on the app prior to travelling.
- The results of the RT-PCR tests conducted during your time in Bahrain will also show up on the app
Testing and isolation in Bahrain:
- All passengers above the age of six arriving in Bahrain from India must provide a negative RT-PCR test with a QR code conducted not more than 48 hours before departure.
- On arrival in Bahrain, you will be required to take an RT-PCR test. After this first test, you will have to self-isolate until you get the results.
- Following this, if you plan to stay in Bahrain for more than five days, you will also have to undergo a COVID-19 test on the fifth and tenth day of your stay.
- If you are fully vaccinated, you need to provide your vaccination certificate with a QR code. You will be given a vaccination certificate card proving the acceptance of your vaccination status. However, you will still need to undergo the RT-PCR test on arrival as well as the tests on the fifth and tenth day.
- The cost of each test—36 BHD (Rs6,995)—will have to be borne by the traveller. You can make a cash or electronic payment on arrival or pay in advance via the ‘BeAware Bahrain’ application.
Travelling within Bahrain
A vaccination drive is currently underway in Bahrain, with the Astrazeneca, Pfizer, Sinopharm and Sputnik vaccine in use. About 6,57,975 citizens have been fully vaccinated in the kingdom. However, COVID-19 cases are still on the rise in Bahrain, with 1,648 new infections being reported on average each day. There are moderate restrictions in place in Bahrain to tackle the rising cases. These include limitations on movement for non-vaccinated individuals.
- Indoor services at restaurants, gyms, swimming pools, cinemas, events, spas and entertainment centres are open only to fully vaccinated and recovered individuals. Children below the age of 12 can enjoy indoor services as long as they are accompanied by a fully vaccinated or recovered adult. At these venues, vaccinated visitors need to present their certified vaccination acceptance card that is provided on arrival in Bahrain.
- Outdoor dining and outdoor gyms, pools and cinemas are open to all as long as social distancing and precautionary measures are being followed.