India Updates Rules For International Travellers: Everything You Need To Know

In response to the spread of the Omicron variant, India has updated its list of at-risk countries and implemented stricter quarantine measures.

On January 7, India updated its travel policy for international arrivals keeping the spread of the Omicron variant in mind. The policy that will be applicable from January 11th 12.01 am, has quarantine measures for all international travellers.

India has also added to its existing list of 'at-risk' countries and they will need to follow additional protocol including on-arrival testing.

Who can travel to India?

All asymptomatic passengers can travel to India, vaccinated and unvaccinated.

Do you need to test before travelling to India?

Yes, all international travellers arriving in India need to produce a negative RT-PCR test report issued at most 72 hours before departure.

Who needs to undergo quarantine?

All international travellers coming to India will have to undergo a 7-day home quarantine.

Which countries are considered at risk?

The updated list of 'at-risk' countries, that will be subjected to additional protocol, includes countries in Europe including the UK, South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Ghana, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Hong Kong, Israel, Congo, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Nigeria, Tunisia, and Zambia.

What do travellers from no-risk countries need?

Travellers from countries included in both categories need to follow the protocol below.

  • Submit a self-declaration form on the Air Suvidha portal.
  • Upload a negative RT-PCR test report, issued no more than 72 hours before departure, on the portal.
  • Submit a declaration about the authenticity of the report. They will be liable to criminal prosecution if found otherwise.
  • Undergo thermal screening at the airport.
  • Of those arriving at the airport, 2 per cent passengers at random (identified by the airline and preferably from different countries) will have to undergo on-arrival testing.
  • If positive, they will be isolated, and their samples sent for genome sequencing.
  • All passengers will need to quarantine at home for a period of 7 days and take an RT PCR test on the 8th day. The results for this test will have to be uploaded on the Air Suvidha portal to be monitored by the respective states and union territories.
  • If negative, they will have to monitor their health for a period of 7 days. If positive, they will be isolated at a facility as per protocol.

What is the protocol for those travelling from at-risk countries?

  • Pre-book a self-paid, on-arrival rapid RT PCR test.
  • Submit their sample for on-arrival testing. Travellers will need to wait at the airport until their reports arrive.
  • If tested negative, they will need to quarantine at home for a period of 7 days and take another RT PCR test on the 8th day. The results for this test will have to be uploaded on the Air Suvidha portal to be monitored by the respective states and union territories.
  • If negative, passengers will need to further isolate for 7 days. If tested positive, their samples will be sent for genome sequencing. They shall be isolated at an institutional facility as per protocol.
  • The contacts of those who have tested positive will also be monitored and home quarantined.

How are the contacts of those who have tested positive identified?

Contacts of the person are their co-passengers in the same row and those seated three rows ahead, and behind. Identified cabin crew and community contacts of those travellers will also be isolated for a period of 14 days.

What about passengers arriving at land and seaports?

They will undergo all the same protocol except the online registration. They will have to submit a self-declaration on arrival.

What about children?

Children below the age of five need not undergo testing pre-departure or post-arrival. If they are found symptomatic on arrival or during home quarantine, they will be tested and treated.

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