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UAE-India travel: New guidelines in effect; RT-PCR test, quarantine rules, all you need to know

Fully vaccinated travellers from the Emirates cannot avail of the pre-travel testing exemption at this moment


Dhanusha Gokulan

Published: Mon 14 Feb 2022, 11:47 AM

Last updated: Tue 15 Feb 2022, 8:16 AM

The new regulations for travel to India have come into effect today (Monday, February 14). On February 10, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare revamped its travel protocols to the country.

The new guidelines scrapped mandatory pre-travel RT-PCR test, valid for 72-hours before departure, for passengers arriving from 87 countries. However, the testing requirement would remain mandatory for all passengers travelling from UAE to India.

Mandatory seven-day home quarantine and the 'at-risk' countries system has been done away with as well.

A spokesperson for the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi confirmed to Khaleej Times that fully vaccinated travellers from the UAE cannot avail of the pre-travel testing exemption at this moment.

The exemption is only being offered to passengers from 87 countries worldwide. India enjoys 'mutual recognition of vaccination certificates of nationally or World Health Organisation (WHO) recognised vaccines'.

Do children need to test pre-travel?

Children under five years of age are exempted from both pre-and post-arrival testing. However, if found symptomatic for Covid-19 on arrival or during the period of self-monitoring period, they shall undergo testing and be treated as per laid down protocol.

Here is the list of pre-travel protocols Indian expatriates in the UAE must keep in mind before their journey to India

Planning for travel

— All travellers should submit complete and factual information in self-declaration form on the online Air Suvidha portal: https://www.newdelhiairport.in/airsuvidha/apho-registration before the scheduled travel, including last 14 days travel details.

— Upload a negative Covid-19 RT-PCR report. The test should have been conducted

within 72 hours prior to undertaking the journey.

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

— They should also give an undertaking on the portal or otherwise to Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India, through concerned airlines before they are allowed to undertake the journey that they would abide by the decision of the appropriate government authority any post-arrival requirement to undergo home/institutional quarantine/ self-health monitoring, as warranted.

Before Boarding

— Follow the do's and don'ts issued by the airlines or agencies concerned

— 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

— All passengers shall be advised to download the Aarogya Setu app on their mobile devices.


On arrival

— De-boarding should be done, ensuring physical distancing

— Thermal screening would be carried out in respect of all the passengers by the health officials present at the airport. The self-declaration form filled out 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.

— A sub-section, two per cent of the total passengers in the flight, shall undergo random post-arrival testing at the airport on arrival

— Such travellers in each flight shall be identified by the concerned airlines (preferably from different countries). They will submit the samples and shall be allowed to leave the airport.

— If such travellers are tested positive, their samples should be further sent for genomic testing at the INSACOG laboratory network.

— They shall be treated or isolated as per laid down standard protocol.

— All travellers will self-monitor their health for the next 14 days of arrival

— If travellers under self-health monitoring, develop signs and symptoms suggestive of Covid-19, they will immediately self-isolate and report to their nearest health facility or call National helpline number (1075)/ State Helpline Number.

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