India had restricted travel from some countries. Now, with more emerging new variants of Covid-19, India has expanded the travel restrictions.
On September 3, in a fresh announcement, India expanded the list of countries that have been placed under travel restrictions. Added to the list of UK, EU and some Middle East countries, now, are South Africa, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand and Zimbabwe.
The announcement comes in response to new mutations of virus recorded as 'variants of interest' by the WHO. In particular, the B.1.261 that originated in Colombia being referred to as 'Mu'. As per a report by the WHO, this is the fifth such mutation marked as a 'variant of interest' and shows possible signs of resistance to vaccines.
On September 2, India reported a mild surge in COVID cases taking the daily tally up to 47,092 (up from 41,965 cases on September 1) with 509 recorded deaths. The daily tally of cases stood at 45,352 on September 3.
In a statement during a press brief, Rajesh Bhushan, the Union Health Secretary, said, "Considering the risk of mutations in SARS-CoV-2, we have added to the list of the UK, EU and Middle East more countries, including South Africa, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand and Zimbabwe. International travellers from all these countries would now need RT-PCR negative reports to get on flights to India and RT-PCR testing upon arrival here."
India's Travel Restrictions: What Does It Mean?
International travellers arriving in India from the listed countries will be required to carry an RT-PCR negative report issued no more than 72 hours before departure. This means anyone travelling from the UK, EU, South Africa, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe and Middle East will need the report before boarding a flight to India.
The travellers from this list of countries will also have to take an RT-PCR test on arrival conducted at the airport at the passenger's cost.
If you are arriving at Mumbai airport, the cost of the test is Rs 600 and testing facilities have been ramped up to conduct as many as 600 every hour.
There is no exemption for those who are fully-vaccinated or above the age of 65 as was the case earlier.
Travellers arriving from other countries, at Mumbai airport, will need to carry an RT-PCR negative report and submit a self-declaration form but will not be subject to an on-arrival COVID test. They will, however, need to home quarantine for a period of 14 days.
If arriving at Bengaluru airport, passengers from UK, Europe, and Middle East, will be allowed to leave the premises after having submitted their samples for an on-arrival RT-PCR test. They will still need to carry a negative RT-PCR report from their country of origin, issued no more than 72 before departure.
Passengers from Brazil and South Africa, will need to remain at the airport promises until a negative test report is generated.
What Do You Need To Travel To India?
- All international travellers arriving in India need to carry a negative RT-PCR test report issued not more than 72 hours of departure.
- If arriving from UK, EU, South Africa, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe and the Middle East, prepare for an on-arrival RT-PCR test at the airport.
- If arriving from other countries in Mumbai, prepare to submit a self-declaration form and home quarantine for 14 days.
- If arriving from Brazil or South Africa in Bengaluru, prepare to stay at the airport until you receive your negative COVID test results.
- Fully-vaccinated travellers and those above the age of 65 are no longer exempted from an RT-PCR test.