Traveling Abroad During COVID-19: What You Need To Know

From RT-PCR tests to mandatory quarantines, here's all you need to know before planning your foreign trip.

Despite international air travel being restricted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Air India has been operating flights to 75 destinations in 54 countries under the Vande Bharat Mission and Air Transport Bubble Scheme.

Many countries, including India, have placed numerous restrictions on air travel to ensure COVID-19 cases do not spike due to international travel.

Passengers flying to India from foreign locations have to submit a self-declaration form online 72 hours before their journey. Travelers are also expected to undergo a mandatory institutional or home quarantine for 14 days according to state rules.

However, they will be exempted from quarantine should they carry a negative RT-PCR test provided the test had been conducted 72 hours before the journey. Some airports also provide passengers the option of undergoing an RT-PCR test on arrival.

Passengers flying out of India need to abide by guidelines set forth by their destination countries. While some countries have mandated carrying a negative RT-PCR test, others require passengers to undergo a two-week quarantine.

Here are air travel guidelines from select countries for Indian travelers.

Australia and New Zealand

Entry is restricted for foreign travelers. However, those eligible to fly into the two neighbouring countries are required to be in isolation for 14 days.

China

All travelers are mandated to undergo a nucleic acid and IgM anti-body tests and apply for a green health code with the "HS" mark or a certified health declaration form before boarding the flight. Passengers will also be checked for COVID-19 symptoms on arrival.

Hong Kong

Travelers are required to fill out Health & Quarantine Declaration prior to departure. On arrival, passengers will be tested for COVID-19 and have to undergo a 14-day hotel or home quarantine.

West Asian Countries

The Gulf is home to a large Indian diaspora and Air India has been operating flights to the countries under the Vande Bharat Mission and Air Transport Bubble scheme. However, each country has different guidelines in place for Indian travelers.

1. Bahrain: All travelers have to undergo an RT-PCR test on arrival at their own expense. Any passengers who stay for longer than 10 days have to undergo another test on the 10th day since their arrival.

2. Kuwait: Only those carrying a negative RT-PCR test report conducted 96 hours before departure will be allowed to travel to Kuwait. Passengers are also required to be in home quarantine for 14 days. However, children under the age of six are exempted from the RT-PCR test.

3. Oman: The Sultanate of Oman has very strict guidelines in place for foreign travelers. All passengers are required to carry a negative RT-PCR test report conducted 96 hours before arrival. On arrival, passengers will be tested once again at their own expense and will have to wear an electronic bracelet as well as downloading Oman's COVID-19 tracking application. Passengers staying for more than seven days also have to undergo a 14-day quarantine.

4. Qatar: Passengers have to book a seven-week hotel quarantine before arriving in Qatar. They will be tested on the sixth day of quarantine. However, they will be exempted from testing and hotel quarantine should they have a negative report done 48 hours before arrival. In such cases, a one-week home quarantine is mandatory.

5. Saudi Arabia: There are no direct flights to Saudi Arabia.

6. UAE: Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah all mandate travelers to carry a negative RT-PCR test report conducted 96 hours prior. Passengers also have to download the ALHOSN COVID-19 tracing app.

In Dubai, passengers may have to undergo an RT-PCR test on arrival and also undergo mandatory quarantine. Passengers arriving in Sharjah will be tested on arrival with those testing positive having to undergo a mandatory 14-day isolation.

In Abu Dhabi, passengers will be provided an electronic wristband and have to be in quarantine for 14 days. On the 12th day, they are required to undergo an RT-PCR test.

More details can be viewed here.

France

All passengers are mandated to carry a negative RT-PCR test report conducted 96 hours before arrival. They are also required to fill out a Public Health Passenger Locator Form, an International Travel Certificate to Mainland France Form and a Sworn Statement of Absence of COVID-19 Symptoms and ofContact with Confirmed Cases Form.

Germany

Travelers have to take an RT-PCR test either 48 hours prior to departure or within 72 hours of arriving in Germany. Passengers are also required to undergo a 14-day quarantine.

United Kingdom

Travelers are required to fill out a Passenger Locator Form before flying to the UK. They will have to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine period.

USA

The USA does not have a common guideline in place and has allowed states to form guidelines own their own. Travelers can get more information at the CDC's health directory here.

The International Air Transport Association has a handy guide in place for international travel which can be viewed here.

Updated On: 2020-11-25T13:34:04+05:30
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