Latest Covid rules for travellers to India: All you need to know

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Photo: Wam
Photo: Wam

Dubai - The new procedures will go into effect from February 22.

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Karen Ann Monsy

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Published: Thu 18 Feb 2021, 8:56 PM

Last updated: Fri 19 Feb 2021, 12:41 PM

On Wednesday, authorities in India announced a slew of fresh standard operating procedures for international travellers to the country.

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The move has been undertaken due to "increasing evidence that the mutant variant of Sars-CoV-2 is in circulation in many countries" and because these mutant variations are "driving the pandemic in their country of origin".

The new procedures will go into effect from February 22 at 23.59 hours IST. Here's all you need to know.

>> Documents required prior to travel

All travellers should submit:

> A self-declaration form on the online Air Suvidha portal (www.newdelhiairport.in)

> A negative Covid-19 RT-PCR test report with a validity of 72 hours

> Declaration of the authenticity of the report and liability for criminal prosecution if found otherwise

> Undertaking to abide by home quarantine rules or self-monitoring for 14 days, as per government protocol

>> Exemptions for PCR test

Those travelling to India in the event of the death of a family member will be allowed to skip the requirement for a negative PCR test result.

However, they will need to apply to the Air Suvidha portal at least 72 hours before boarding and wait for approval, the decision of which will be final.

>> Pre-boarding travel advice

> Only passengers who have filled out the self declaration form on the Air Suvidha portal and uploaded the negative PCR test result will be permitted to travel.

> Passengers will need to undergo thermal screening before boarding.

> Those displaying symptoms of Covid-19 will not be permitted to board.

> Passengers are advised to download the Aarogya Setu app for ease of travel.

> Passengers who intend to take connecting flights from the arrival airport to other destinations in India must allow a transit time of 6-8 hours when booking connecting flights.

>> On arrival procedures

> Passengers are advised to maintain physical distancing while deboarding.

> Those found to be symptomatic during thermal screening will be immediately isolated and taken to a medical facility, as per health protocols.

> Passengers will be required to provide a sample for testing before leaving the airport or taking transit flights, with priority given to those who were exempted from providing a negative PCR test result before departure.

>> Regulations for international arrivals from flights originating in Middle East, UK and Europe

Passengers in this category will need to adhere to the aforementioned rules, in addition to the following:

> Provide travel history of the past 14 days in self-declaration form, as well as state whether they plan to disembark at the arrival airport or take further flights to reach their final destination in India.

> Comply with directions by airline staff who will segregate them in-flight or while disembarking, if they've arrived from, or have transited through, United Kingdom, Brazil or South Africa in the last 14 days.

> Undergo a mandatory self-paid confirmatory molecular test on arrival in India.

>> For transiting and non-transiting arrivals from countries other than UK, Brazil and South Africa:

> Passengers will need to give a sample for testing at the designated area before exiting.

> If negative, they will need to monitor their health for seven days. They will need to report to a medical facility if symptoms occur.

> If positive, they will need to follow treatment as per the health protocol.

>> In case of contact with Covid-positive travellers

Contacts of Covid-positive cases are those co-passengers seated in the same row, three rows in front, and three rows behind.

> If the contact is with a positive case travelling from UK, Brazil or South Africa, passengers will need to go into separate institutional quarantine and test on the 7th day.

> If the contact is with a positive case from countries other than those mentioned above, passengers can quarantine at home for 7 days before testing.

> All community contacts of those travellers who have tested positive (during home quarantine period) will also be subjected to institutional quarantine in separate quarantine centres for 14 days and tested as per protocol.



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