Explained: India's new Covid-19 guidelines for international travellers

Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

Dubai - Revised travel protocols will be effective from October 25


Dhanusha Gokulan

Published: Thu 21 Oct 2021, 1:22 PM

Last updated: Thu 21 Oct 2021, 1:27 PM

India has revised travel protocols for inbound international travellers on October 20, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) said.

The revised travel protocols will be effective from October 25.

While there are no major changes made for travellers from the UAE, India has created a country-wise classification based on the epidemiological situation of Covid-19 in those countries.

The listing of specified countries is a dynamic exercise based on the evolving situation of the pandemic across the world, said the Ministry of Health.

Here is a breakdown of the new regulations:

Country-wise classification

Arrivals to India have been classified into two categories: Travellers coming from ‘at risk countries’, and travellers from countries ‘excluding those enlisted as countries at risk’.

Passengers from at-risk nations need to undergo additional testing at the airport. These nations are: Countries in Europe, including the UK, South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, and Zimbabwe.

“There are countries which have an agreement with India on mutual recognition of vaccination certificates of nationally-recognised or World Health Organisation (WHO) recognised vaccines.

“Similarly, there are countries which presently do not have such an agreement with India, but they exempt Indian citizens fully vaccinated with nationally-recognised or WHO recognised vaccines,” the Ministry said.

“On the basis of reciprocity, the travellers from all such Countries which provide quarantine-free entry to Indians are allowed certain relaxations on arrival,” it explained.

These categories of countries are called Category A countries, like the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Nepal, Belarus, Lebanon, Armenia, Ukraine, Belgium, Hungary and Serbia.

Travel rules for arrivals

Before travel

> Irrespective of the country-wise classification, all travellers should submit a self-declaration form on the online Air Suvidha portal (www.newdelhiairport.in) before the scheduled travel.

> Passengers must upload a negative Covid-19 RT-PCR report. This test should have been conducted within 72 hours prior to undertaking the journey.

> Airlines to ensure availability of negative RT-PCR report before allowing the travellers to board

> Each passenger shall also submit a declaration with respect to the authenticity of the report and will be liable for a criminal prosecution, if found otherwise, said MoHFW.

> Passengers should also give an undertaking on the Air Suvidha portal or otherwise to the Ministry of Civil Aviation, through concerned airlines before arriving in India. The undertaking should state that they would abide by the decisions of the appropriate government authority to undergo home quarantine/ self-health monitoring, as warranted.

Rules on arrival

> Thermal screening would be carried out by the health officials at the airport. The self-declaration form filled online shall be shown to the airport health staff.

> The passengers found to be symptomatic during screening shall be immediately isolated and taken to a medical facility as per health protocol. If tested positive, their contacts shall be identified and managed as per laid down protocol.

Quarantine and testing:

> If the traveller is coming from a Category A country, and is fully- vaccinated, they shall be allowed to leave the airport and shall self-monitor their health for 14 days’ post-arrival.

> If partially (one-dose) /not vaccinated: The travellers need to: submit a sample for post-arrival Covid-19 test at the point of arrival, home quarantine for seven days, and re-test on the eighth day of arrival in India and if negative, further self-monitor of their health for next seven days.

> If a traveller is coming from a country excluding those covered under Category A, they would be required to undergo the measures as mentioned above, irrespective of their Covid-19 vaccination status.


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Travellers from countries excluding those countries at risk will be allowed to leave the airport and shall self-monitor their health for 14 days’ post-arrival. This is applicable to travellers from all countries including those with which reciprocal arrangements for mutual acceptance of WHO approved Covid-19 vaccines also exist, explained MoHFW.

Those travellers under home quarantine or self-health monitoring who develop symptoms suggestive of Covid-19 or test positive for Covid-19 on re-testing, will immediately self isolate and report to their nearest health facility.

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