Today’s news in brief:

International passengers to complete institutional quarantine on arrival in India

India is to introduce mandatory institutional quarantine for passengers arriving from overseas - with some exceptions -  effective August 8.

According to updated guidelines issued by India’s health ministry yesterday, international passengers will be required to undertake seven days’ paid-for institutional quarantine, followed by a period of home quarantine for the same amount of time.

Those flying into India can apply for exemption to the institutional quarantine, if they are able to produce a negative coronavirus test (which must be conducted within 96 hours of taking the flight and the results presented on arrival). People submitting forged or false test reports will be subject to prosecution.

Passengers with “compelling reasons”, such as pregnancy, a death in the family or serious illness, can also apply to skip the institutional quarantine and instead take home quarantine for 14 days.

Applications for exemptions will have to be made online at at least 72 hours before boarding. “The decision taken by the government as communicated on the online portal will be final,” the guidelines state.

Discount for Club Vistara members at luxury Postcard hotels

Vistara frequent flyers can take advantage of a discount with the Postcard Hotel group - which has some beautiful-looking properties in India and neighbouring countries.

Club Vistara members entering a valid CV ID will earn 9 CV points on every INR 100 spent and a 15% discount with the code VISTARAVIP while booking at this page.

Postcard has hotels in Sri Lanka (pictured below) and Bhutan, plus three in Goa, all situated in “quiet neighbourhoods, a world away from the more familiar tourist hotspots”.

As well as leisurely walks, cycle tours and great local delicacies, you can look forward to staying in luxury rooms featuring private balconies, four-poster beds and views of paddy fields.

According to its website, Postcard also has plans to open properties in Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Ranthambore and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

The offer is available until August 31st for travel until October 31. Postcode says it will allow rescheduling until March 31, 2021 for no additional charges.

United hopes to return to India in September

Subject to a big caveat, United Airlines says it plans to resume service to nearly 30 international routes in September, including flights to Asia, India, Australia, Israel and Latin America.

As part of a ramping up of international service, United says it will reinstate flights between the US and Delhi and Mumbai next month - subject to government approval.

Despite the creation of so-called air bubbles - an agreed travel corridor between two countries - regular international service to/ from India is currently suspended until August 31.

United intends to fly 30 per cent of its international schedule as compared to September 2019 - a five-point increase compared to August.

“We continue to be realistic in our approach to building back our international and domestic schedules by closely monitoring customer demand and flying where people want to go,” said Patrick Quayle, United's vice president of International Network and Alliances.