Providing considerable relief to the international passengers arriving in India, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has revised the COVID-19 guideline for the country that comes into effect from today. International travellers arriving in India do not require to undergo the mandatory seven-day quarantine as per the new COVID-19 guideline for India. Instead, the passengers will now have to self-monitor their health for 14 days. However, all passengers arriving at the airports will have to submit a self-declaration form to airport authorities on landing.
Key Highlights of India’s Travel Guidelines
If travellers under self-health monitoring develop any signs and symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, they will have to immediately self-isolate from the rest and report to the nearest health facility or call the national helpline number (1075), or the state helpline number.
The passengers showing symptoms of COVID-19 on arrival will have to undergo screening and shall be isolated in a medical facility under the control of the health authorities.
The revised guideline further stated that the mandatory RT-PCR test report taken before 72 hours of the journey is not required anymore. However, the travellers have to show their full Vaccination Certificate.
The government has made changes to the risk marking of the countries. The health ministry has removed the ‘At Risk’ marking for countries with high Omicron caseloads.
The guideline of conducting random testing persists. On arrival, 2% of the total passengers in the flight will have to undergo random testing at the airport. The airlines are responsible for identifying such travellers in each flight, preferably from different countries.
In the self-declaration form, all travellers should submit complete and factual information about their whereabouts, 14-day travelling history, medical history, addresses and journeys. The self-declaration form is available on the Suvidha portal, and the travellers can fill it out in advance before boarding the flight. They will also have to upload their COVID-19 vaccination certificates on the government’s Air Suvidha portal.
They will also upload a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR report not earlier than 72 hrs before undertaking the travel or certificate of completing the full primary vaccination schedule.
Besides uploading negative RT-PCR reports, there is an option to upload a certificate of completing the full primary vaccination schedule of COVID-19 vaccination provided from countries on a reciprocal basis The guideline has also eliminated the need to undertake the RT-PCR test on the 8th day after a seven-day quarantine, and upload the same on the Air Suvidha portal.
India has laid agreements with a few countries on mutual recognition of vaccination certificates that are nationally recognised or those recognised by the World Health Organisation. There are also countries with which India does not have such an agreement, but they exempt Indian citizens who are fully vaccinated with nationally recognised or WHO recognised vaccines.
“Based on reciprocity, the travellers from only such countries which provide quarantine-free entry to Indians will be allowed for relaxation under certificate of completing full primary vaccination schedule of COVID-19 vaccination,” the guidelines stated.
“The travellers from such countries only are considered for allowing entry based on vaccination certificate and shall upload their fully vaccinate certificate on the Air Suvidha portal.”