Covid in India: PCR test guidelines, quarantine rules for inter-state travel

Here are the state-wise quarantine regulations across the country, as per the latest guidelines from Air India.


By Our Reporter

Published: Wed 26 Jan 2022, 1:04 PM

Passengers originating or transiting from at-risk countries will be informed by the airlines about undergoing post-arrival testing and other protocols, according to the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. “The Do’s and Don'ts shall be provided along with ticket to the travellers by the airlines/agencies concerned,” said the ministry in its ‘Guidelines for international arrivals’ released on January 20.

“Airlines to allow boarding by only those passengers who have filled in all the information in the Self Declaration Form on the Air Suvidha portal and uploaded the negative RT-PCR test report. At the time of boarding the flight, only asymptomatic travellers will be allowed to board after thermal screening.” Passengers have also been advised to download Aarogya Setu app on their mobile devices.

Here are the state-wise quarantine regulations across the country, as per the latest guidelines from Air India.


Passengers will either have to be fully vaccinated or compulsorily carry RTPCR Test certificate showing negative result within 72 hours before boarding for arrival into Maharashtra,” said the airline. “Children below five, exempted from RTPCR test. Passengers travelling within the state will either have to be fully vaccinated or carry a negative RT-PCR report within 72 hours of arrival. In exceptional cases like family distress etc., testing may be allowed on arrival at the Airport in Mumbai.”


Thermal screening will be done for all passengers upon arrival. They will have to remain in quarantine for 14 days.


Travelers from other states to Kerala shall carry a RTPCR negative certificate taken within 72 hours before the start of journey. However, Covid-19 negative test result is not required for travel of any person (including delivery agents) within Kerala. All asymptomatic passengers will have to undergo home quarantine for 14 days. Passengers visiting Kerala for less than seven days are exempted from home quarantine provided they obtain an entry pass for short visit from the Jagratha portal.


It is mandatory for passengers to Karnataka to possess a negative RTPCR certificate not older than 72 hours for all those originating from Kerala and Maharashtra irrespective of the vaccination status. For travelers from all other states, it is mandatory that those with Covid-19 symptoms should carry a RTPCR Negative Test Report, said the airline.

Tamil Nadu:

Covid Testing will be done to symptomatic persons coming from Maharashtra and Kerala. All passengers arriving in Coimbatore to have Auto EPass and also carry a negative RTPCR report not earlier than 72 hours from the time of departure. The same is not applicable for passengers arriving from Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry. In case the passenger arrives without RT-PCR report, Covid testing shall be done free of cost at Coimbatore airport.

Andhra Pradesh:

Thermal screening. All asymptomatic passengers will have to undergo home quarantine for 14 days.


It is mandatory for all passengers to install the Aarogya Setu App. Asymptomatic passengers arriving at Telangana are exempted from quarantine.


Passengers should be in possession of RT-PCR negative certificate of not older than 72 hours or final vaccination certificate (two doses complete).


The eligibility for travel to Goa: Passengers carrying Covid Negative Test Report done maximum of 72 hours prior entering the state; passengers entering for medical emergencies on production of proof thereof.


RT-PCR negative report issued from an ICMR recognised lab where test is taken 48 hours before commencement of journey is mandatory for all above 2 years. All passengers with history of foreign travel in the last 30 days will be tested on arrival and they have to strictly self-isolate till the receipt of negative RTPCR report.


Guidelines for passengers coming to Gujarat from Maharashtra & Kerala: 1) Thermal Screening to be done and Vaccination status of every passenger will be checked. 2) Rapid test will be done in respect of passengers found suffering from the disease and will immediately be isolated. 3) If Antigen test is found negative than sample will be sent for RTPCR. 4) If passenger is found positive will be admitted for treatment as per the guidelines and Genome Sequence be done. (5) If no Symptoms found and two doses of vaccination taken and period of 15 days is completed than passenger will be allowed to go to home. Thermal screening shall be conducted for all arriving passengers. There is no RTPCR test required for Domestic travel in healthy individuals on arrival in any of the station in Gujarat state.

Madhya Pradesh:

There is no Covid test facility available at Indore Airport. Negative RTPCR certificate not mandatory for the flights arriving at Bhopal from Maharashtra at present.


It is mandatory for all passengers flying into Airports in Punjab to: i. Carry a certificate of Full/ Final Vaccination (both doses); OR ii. Carry a negative RT-PCR Certificate of the last 72 hours. Infants and children below 10 years shall be exempt from the above requirement. It is clarified that this shall apply for domestic flights only and the requirement for arrival of International Passengers shall continue to be governed by the extant guidelines of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.


Passengers already administered with the 2 doses of Covid-19 Vaccination, are exempt from carrying the RTPCR Covid-19 negative report while entering the state and shall also be exempt from the mandatory Home / Institutional Quarantine. However, those passengers who have not been fully vaccinated are required to carry a negative RTPCR test report not older than 72 hours before departure.


Thermal screening will be done for all passengers upon arrival.

Himachal Pradesh:

All asymptomatic passengers arriving from all states will be exempted from quarantine, if they are carrying a Covid negative certificate through RT-PCR test or TRUNAAT t/CB NAAT test by an ICMR authorised lab issued not earlier than 96 hours from the time when the sample was taken

Jammu and Kashmir:

All passengers arriving at Jammu & Kashmir will have to undergo Covid 19 antigen test through RTPCR method or Rapid Antigen test.


Thermal screening shall be done for all passengers.

Uttar Pradesh:

RT-PCR negative report from ICMR accredited labs done within last 72 hours for passengers arriving from Kerala and Maharashtra. If the passengers are not carrying the RT-PCR negative report, then they will undergo the “RAPID ANTIGEN TEST” at Varanasi Airport.


Covid Test will be done (free of cost) for passengers arriving from Maharashtra, Kerala and Gujarat. All passengers will be exempted from home quarantine if they arrive with RT- PCR/True NAT/CBNAAT/Antigen test with negative report not more than 72 hrs before arrival. Fully vaccinated passengers after 15 days of second dose

will be exempted from above test requirements to enter the state.

West Bengal:

All passengers coming from outside West Bengal shall mandatorily possess an RT-PCR negative test report for a test conducted within 72 hours of flight departure or a proof of full vaccination.


All arriving Passengers coming from states where Covid infection rate is high or cases of Delta Variant is reported, will have to undergo Rapid Antigen Test at Airport on arrival. However, all those passengers who have taken both doses of vaccine or are carrying negative RTPCR report generated within 72 hours of travel, will be exempted from testing on arrival.


All the air travellers de-boarding at Bhubaneswar except those in transit shall have to undergo RTPCR Test at the testing facility provided by BMC. The air travellers who have already been fully vaccinated or in possession of RTPCR negative report shall also have to be tested. The travellers whose destination is Bhubaneswar shall have to isolate themselves at home till the result is communicated to them by BMC.


RTPCR negative test report within 72 hrs for all passengers even if they are having certificate of both vaccinations is mandatory. If passenger is not having RTPCR report, testing will be done at Raipur airport and passenger will remain in home isolation till report is available. If passengers arriving in Chattisgarh are not having RTPCR negative report, then they will have to pay Rs380 each passenger for getting tested at Raipur. This is irrespective of the fact that the passenger is having proof of both vaccinations.


Passengers arriving from Maharashtra, Kerala and Punjab will require RTPCR/RAT negative report from ICMR accredited labs done within last 72 hrs. RTPCR timeline  starts from the swab collection time. Passengers without RTPCR Report will be tested at the airport. RTPCR/RAT test will be free of cost at arrivals. Random RAT test will be done for other sector passengers.


Thermal screening will be conducted on arrivals. Rapid Antigen Test on arrival is mandatory. Passenger with positive result go for home isolation or hospitalisation. Passenger with negative result will have to take RT-PCR test at airport and remain under home quarantine until the result is declared.


All air travellers entering Manipur (Imphal) should mandatorily carry Negative Covid -19 RTPCR tests report done within 48 hrs. prior to arrival in the state. Thermal screening shall be done for all passengers.


RT-PCR test for all arriving passengers on chargeable basis in case passenger is not carrying a negative Covid-19 report on arrival (not earlier than 72 hours prior to arrival).



Negative RT-PCR/TrueNat/CBNAAT test Report for Covid 19 issued by a recognised laboratory within 72 hours prior to the time of entry is mandatory; OR Certificate of  discharge from Home Isolation or Covid care facility issued by the competent authority within 3 months prior to the date of entry. The above passengers may be exempted from entry point screening and quarantine.


Passengers must have their RTPCR (negative) report with them from an ICMR approved lab not earlier than 72 hours of arrival into the state of Nagaland through RTPCR / TrueNat/ CBNAAT. Fully vaccinated tourists will not be required to be tested at the point of entry and further may not be required to quarantine. Those with single dose of vaccine will also not be tested on arrival. However, they need to observe 7 days of quarantine. Those without any vaccine dose will be tested on arrival and subject to 7 days quarantine.


Negative test report for Covid-19 done by RTPCR/True NAAT/CBNAAT of 48 hours prior to journey is required for entry into Tripura. All passengers arriving at Agartala have to undergo mandatory Covid test (RAT or RTPCR), irrespective of having double vaccination certificate and prior RTPCR test. Same will be arranged by the state govt at free of cost, just outside the arrival lounge of Agartala airport.

See full guidelines here.

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