UAE-India travel: New Covid-19 rules may affect business trips

All passengers will have to undergo home quarantine for 7 days and must undertake RT-PCR test on the eighth day of arrival in India

By SM Ayaz Zakir

Published: Sat 8 Jan 2022, 4:48 PM

Last updated: Sat 8 Jan 2022, 11:48 PM

Travel agents expressed uncertainty in travel from UAE to India and vice versa after India imposed mandatory 7-day home quarantine for inbound travellers from January 11.

"On Friday, the decision was announced; however, it is very early to come to a conclusion," said Mir Wasim Raja, manager, MICE and holidays, Galadari International Travel Services.

The Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare announced that all international arrivals must undergo mandatory seven-day home quarantine upon arrival in India.

The passengers must also undergo an RT-PCR test on the eighth day of arrival. The Ministry updated rules for India-bound travellers given the rising prevalence of the Omicron variant.

Travels agents say that a clear picture of travel trends and status between both countries will emerge in the coming days.

"Business travel may affect both inbound and outbound passengers," Raja said.

"People travelling for two days on a business visit may not want to restrict to quarantine for seven days. But I believe this new travel update may not affect the tourists from India to Dubai," Raja added.

While all travellers from the UAE are not required to undergo an RT-PCR test upon arrival, depending on the state they are travelling to, two per cent of passengers randomly selected shall undergo post-arrival testing at the airport. Some states, such as Kerala and Maharashtra, are testing all passengers upon arrival.

The randomly selected list of passengers in each flight would be identified by the concerned airlines, and laboratories have been asked to prioritise testing of samples from such travellers.

However, all passengers would have to undergo home quarantine for seven days and must undertake RT-PCR test on the eighth day of arrival in India.


Taha Siddique, a travel agent based in coastal Karnataka, caters to the travel needs of people from his state and Kerala. "With Karnataka imposing weekend curfew and uncertainty of lockdown in Kerala, business trips may be affected."

"Many of my clients residing in the UAE are not willing to attend weddings and other celebrations. A few inbound travellers to India from UAE even cancelled their tickets due to quarantine rule, as their return is scheduled within 3 days."

Iflah Ahmed, a regular business traveller to UAE from Kozhikode in Kerala has halted his travel for the next month. "I am a distributor of plastic home and kitchenware and have to travel to Gulf countries regularly. But due to the new travel update, I will be continuing my work on-call, which may be quite difficult."

"A seven-day quarantine after every travel sounds a challenge that I cannot be ready for leaving my duties."

More news from Travel