Centre issues revised COVID-19 guidelines for international arrivals in India

Read the revised COVID-19 guidelines for international arrivals in India. All travellers to submit a self-declaration form and a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR report. Know more details.

COVID19 guidelines International arrivals in India, Source: PTI
COVID19 guidelines International arrivals in India, Source: PTI

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on October 20, 2021, issued an order stating that the existing guidelines issued on February 17, 2021, for international arrivals in India have been reviewed amid the increasing vaccination coverage across the world and the declining trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic. The order stated that all international travellers as well as airlines should adhere to revised protocols for risk profiling of passengers.

Centre issues revised COVID-19 guidelines for international arrivals in India – Key Points

All travellers need to submit a self-declaration form on the online Air Suvidha portal before the scheduled travel, upload a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR report which should have been conducted within 72 hours before starting the journey.

Each traveller is also required to submit a declaration in regard to the authenticity of the report. If found otherwise, one is liable for criminal prosecution. All travellers must download Aarogya Setu on their mobile phones.

All travellers to submit an undertaking on the Air Suvidha portal or otherwise to the Civil Aviation Ministry through concerned airlines that they are allowed to undertake a journey and they would abide by the decision of government authority to undergo self-health/monitoring.

Travellers from certain countries will be identified for additional follow-up. The listing of certain countries based on their epidemiological situation of COVID-19 is a dynamic exercise. It will be available on the Health Ministry, External Affairs Ministry, and Air Suvidha portal soon.

The tickets will provide all the do’s and don’ts. The airlines have been instructed to allow only passengers with self-declaration forms on the Air Suvidha portal and the RT-PCR test report uploaded. Only asymptomatic travellers will be allowed to board after the thermal screening.

If any travellers reports COVID19 symptoms during flight?

In case any traveller reports COVID-19 symptoms during flight, they will be isolated as per protocol. Deboarding will be done ensuring physical distancing, thermal screening, and showing of self-declaration form to the airport health staff.

Any passenger found symptomatic during thermal screening will be isolated and taken to a medical facility. If tested positive, their contacts will be identified. Co-passengers in the vicinity of the symptomatic case who were seated in the same row, 3 rows behind, and 3 rows in front along with the identified Cabin Crew are the contacts in such case, stated the order.

If travellers under home quarantine develop COVID19 symptoms?

In case travellers under home quarantine or self-monitoring period experience symptoms indicating COVID-19 or test positive when re-tested, they should immediately self-isolate themselves and call National helpline number 1075, or state helpline number or report to the nearest hospital.

People accompanying those travellers who tested positive during home quarantine will also be required to tested and quarantined for 14 days.

If a traveller is coming from Category A country and is fully vaccinated?

In case a fully vaccinated traveller is arriving in India from a country that has reciprocal arrangements and mutual acceptance of WHO approved COVID-19 vaccines (Category A), then that traveller will be allowed to leave the airport and asked to self-monitor their health for 14 days from the day of arrival.

In the case of a partially or non-vaccinated traveller, one needs to submit a sample for the post-arrival COVID-19 test. Following which they will be allowed to leave the airport however they will be required to quarantine for 7 days, re-tested on the 8th day since arrival in India. If tested negative, they need to self-monitor for 7 more days.

If a traveller is coming from non-Category A country?

In case a traveller is arriving from a country that is excluded from the list of Category A countries, then they will need to undergo the same protocols irrespective of their COVID-19 vaccination status as for the ones partially or non-vaccinated arriving from Category A countries. They will be then allowed to leave the airport however monitor their health for 14 days since arrival.

Which are the non-Category A countries?

The countries excluded from the Category A list are the countries at-risk and with which India does not have reciprocal arrangements for mutual acceptance of WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccines.

Travellers arriving from these countries will need to follow additional measures on arrival in India such as post-arrival testing. These countries are Brazil, South Africa, China, Botswana, Europe, the UK, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, New Zealand, and Mauritius.

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