Latest Information on Travelling to Andaman Islands?
  • Runway Status for Port Blair Airport From October,22 to February, 23

    Updated: 19 Sep 2022
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  • Andaman Tourism Opens

    Updated: 14 Aug 2021

    Andaman Tourism Opens: The Andaman & Nicobar administration has announced that all tourist spots in the South Andaman district will be opened for tourism activities with immediate effect 8 Feb 2022.

  • RT PCR report on arrival

    Updated: 14 Aug 2021

    A negative RT PCR report has to be presented by all passengers on arrival.

  • What is the advisory to travel to North & Middle Andaman District?

    Updated: 14 Aug 2021

    The tourists are allowed to visit Baratang/North & Middle Andaman on production of double dose covid certificate/ All other passengers viz. unvaccinated and partially vaccinated passengers (those who have taken only 1S1 dose of COVID vaccine) shall have to produce RT-PCR negative test report

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  • All asymptomatic fully vaccinated persons coming to these islands from mainland are exempted from the requirement of carrying RT-PCR negative test report,irrespective of the type of vaccine received and country of origin. Such fullyvaccinated individuals shall produce the final vaccination certificate at the origin airport, sea port in the mainland and at Port Blair Airport / sea port.
  • Alt asymptomatic children below 5 years of age are exempted from carrying RT-PCR negative test report and further RT-PCR testing at Port Blair Airport.
  • All other passengers viz. unvaccinated and partially vaccinated passengers (those who have taken only 1S1 dose of COVID vaccine) shall have to produce RT-PCR negative test report to travel to Port Blair from the mainland, as is the practice now. Such an RT-PCR test should have been taken within 48 hours prior to commencement of journey from the origin airport connecting Port Blair. Such passengers will also have to undergo additional RT-PCR test on arrival at Port Blair. Such passengers shall remain in self-quarantine till the arrival of the test report.
  • If a passenger on arrival is tested positive then, the prescribed quarantine protocol is to be followed.
  • All Airlines shall ensure strict compliance of this order and observance of COVID Appropriate Behaviour. Any non-compliance shall invite action under Disaster Management Act and other applicable laws. 
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General Guidelines defined for traveling to Andaman Islands during COVID :

  1. The Tourism Activities are permitted only in South Andaman & North & Middle Andaman District except Nicobar District.
  2. Persons above 65 years of age, persons with home co-morbidities, pregnant women and children below the age of 10 years advised not to travel for tourism purposes.
  3. Tourists/Visitors who are at higher risk due to some medical history are advised to take extra precautions.
  4. Tourists/visitors shall minimize contact with other staff and visitors as far as possible and zero contact policy should be followed at all tourist destinations.
  5. All tourists/visitors shall be briefed by the hotel concerned about do’s & don’ts to be mandatorily followed during their stay and movements.
  6. While travelling tourists/visitors should wear a face mask and carry their own sanitizer and wet wipes for personal use.
  7. At all tourist destinations, staff must wear face masks and wash/sanitize hands regularly while performing their duties.
  8. Arogya Setu App shall be mandatory for all incoming tourists/visitors.
  9. Respiratory etiquettes to be strictly followed. This involves strict practice of covering one’s mouth and nose while coughing/sneezing with a tissue handkerchief/flexed elbow and disposing off used tissues properly after use.
  10. The tourists/visitors on arrival at Port Blair airport have to undergo mandatory Covid-19 screening with RTPCR test free of cost. Thereafter the tourists/ visitors are allowed to move to their respective hotels. However, they will have to be under quarantine at Port Blair in their hotel rooms until the result of RTPCR tests are received. In case of RTPCR positive test results, the tourists/visitors shall remain in institutional quarantine in hotels notified by the Hoteliers Association in consent with the A&%N Administration, on rate as specified or to the designated hospital/ Covid 19 care centre on case to case basis.
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What are the guidelines for testing for tourists coming to Andaman after August 03 2021?

On arrival at Port Blair :

1. The tourists need to carry COVID-19 negative test report from mainland based 1CMR approved lab using Reverse Transcriptase-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RTPCR). However, the sample for RTPCR test should have been taken within 48 hours prior to starting the journey from the origin station. (For e.g. if the tourist takes a flight from Delhi at 0600 hrs. on 1st September, 2021, the sample for RTPCR test should have been taken not before 0600 hrs. on 30th August, 2021).

2. The tourists/visitors on arrival at Port Blair airport have to undergo mandatory Covid-19 screening with RTPCR test free of cost. Thereafter the tourists/visitors are allowed to move to their respective hotels. However, they will have to be under quarantine at Port Blair in their hotel rooms until the result of RTPCR tests are received. In case of RTPCR positive test results, the tourists/visitors shall remain in
institutional quarantine in hotels notified by the Hoteliers Association in consent with the A&N Administration, on rates as specified or to the designated hospital/ Covid-19 care centre on case-to-case basis.

3. Tourists may also have to undergo random Rapid Antigen Test conducted from time to time on payment basis as prescribed by A8N Administration.

What if the tourists test positive after arriving at the Andaman Islands?

If the tourists tests positive during their stay in the Islands, he/she will need to undergo institutional isolation as per existing health protocols. The
cost of such isolation for govt. facility will be paid by the tourists as fixed by the administration from time to time.

If the patient wants to stay at hotels, he/she can stay in the hotels if all the conditions below are met:

a) Patients are not symptomatic and not more than 60 years old.
b) Request/ undertaking is made by patient in writing.
c)lf allowed by doctors.

Hotels will make necessary arrangements to designate a part of their rooms for institutional isolation for this purpose.

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  • Regular flights to Port Blair (the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands) are operational now.
  • There are direct flights from Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, and Delhi.
  • Public transports like cabs, taxis, and bus services are also functional.
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Travellers should carefully follow social distancing norms and wear masks as well. Also, before making any booking, they should refer to the latest travel news on the government website of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

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Barren Island

Barren Island
Date : 29 Mar 2023
Categories: Andaman Islands

Shut down your office laptop right now and pack your bags; a beach vacation is calling you. And, if you did not know this already, the Andamans and the Nicobar Islands is one of the best places for a beach vacation in India. Close your eyes and imagine a vast, very vast, blue sea, lush and verdant islands, never-ending white pristine sandy beaches, and glorious underwater sea creatures surrounding. Why not add a volcano to it? Yes, not just islands, you can also spot a volcano at the Barren Island in the Andamans. Did you know that many people from across the world specifically go to the Andamans to visit Barren Island? Any why not? It is the only active volcano in South Asia.

Why is Barren Island famous?

Barren Island is home to the only active volcano in the Indian subcontinent. The island sits in the volcanic belt that runs along the Indo-Burmese tectonic plates. If you’ve ever wanted to see an active volcano, this is your chance as Barren Island has the only active volcano among a line of volcanoes from Myanmar to Sumatra. For these reasons and many more, Barren Island is a magnet for tourists and, specifically, scuba divers from across the world.

While you cannot stay at Barren Island because it is an uninhabited island without any accommodations for tourists, you can visit the remote island from Havelock Island on a charter boat or a ship. While humans do not live on Barren Island, some animals and birds live on the island despite the rough conditions. Geologists have found small populations of goats, pigeons, flying foxes, pigeons, and even bats on the island. It is, however, difficult to spot the animals from a ship or even a charter boat.

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Scuba diving in Barren Island

While the island itself may be grey and devoid of rich fauna because of the harsh conditions, underwater life surrounding the island is rich and immensely colourful. There are at least known six dive sites across Barren Island whose depths start from 6 metres to beyond 40 metres. Of the dive sites, Purple Haze, Manta Point, and Barren Garden are the most popular sites.

If you are not experienced in scuba diving, however, you will not be allowed to dive at Barren Island. Only experienced and expert divers can dive on Barren Island. Also, you’d need prior permission to be able to dive in any of the diving sites near the island. It does make sense to explore more than one scuba diving site on Barren Island when you are there. Your diving centre will provide you with a guide who’s familiar with the dive sites for all the dives.

Marine life in Barren Island

Barren Island boasts vibrant marine life. What is unique about the dive sites around the island is that unlike in the rest of Andamans and Nicobar Island, where the sand both on the beaches and underwater is white, the sand near Barren island is black or ashy. But the coral fields are soft and come in a variety of colours like purple, pink, orange, red, blue, and green. Purple haze has a series of big cathedral-like structures with many of these multicoloured corals.

Manta rays are very common around the dive sites at Barren Island. Since the water is clear and the visibility is great, you can spot manta rays even from the surface at some points. You are also likely to spot white-tip reef sharks, marlins, and a variety of turtles. Since there are some underwater cleaning stations, you will also spot fusiliers, angelfish, sponges, scorpion fish, butterfly fish, etc.

Fishing trips to Barren Island

You’d be surprised to hear that Barren Island is one of the most famous sites for game fishing in the Andamans and Nicobar Island. The good news is that the water is so full of sea creatures, you’ll never be in a situation where you cannot spot and capture a fish. Most people go to Barren Island to capture tunas and marlins. You’ll find dogtooth tuna, Yellowfin tuna, blue and black tuna, and even sailfish.

You can take a day trip to Barren Island on a boat with instructors. In most cases, you’d be provided with all the necessary fishing gear by your guides. Not just that, your guides will also take you to places where you are bound to find abundant fish. You can also explore the areas around Barren Island and even add a scuba diving activity to your fishing trip.

Best time to visit Barren Island

Barren Island is part of a tropical island group; hence, summers are quite humid and hot. There are also chances of heavy and erratic rains. All kinds of water sports, fishing trips and even boat rides are cancelled when it rains as it may get risky for you. The best time to visit then is during winter. It doesn’t get too cold in the Andamans, but the weather stays pleasant throughout. November to February is usually the best to visit Barren Island, but you can also visit the island around the end of October and up until March. The island is also cordoned off during active eruptions.

How to reach Barren Island

Barren Island is a remote Island and the only way to get to the island is via charter boats from either Port Blair or Havelock. The island is 140 km away from Port Blair and around 100 km away from Havelock. It may take you around 4 hours to reach Barren Island from Port Blair and 2-3 hours from Havelock Island. You have to plan an entire day’s trip of around 8-10 hours if you want to visit Barren Island and the journey usually starts in the early hours of the morning. Charter boats can usually accommodate 7-8 people at a go and include everything from fishing gear to scuba diving and snorkelling gear.

The cost of travelling to Barren Island would depend on your starting point but may cost you around INR 20,000 per person. Most people usually travel in groups to split the cost. You’ll also need a tourist permit to visit the island which may cost you INR 1000 if you have Indian Nationality and around INR 3500 if you are a foreign national. Also, while you can travel around the island, no one is allowed to step on the island for safety concerns.

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