A revised set of guidelines for international travelers was announced earlier in October by the Union Health Ministry. Travelers will therefore be required to submit a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR record to the border.
As per the announcements by the Government, fully vaccinated passengers coming from a country with which India has required arrangements for interactive acceptance of WHO approved COVID-19 vaccines will be allowed to leave the airport without undertaking home quarantine and testing from October onwards.
According to the ministry, “the COVID-19 epidemic continues to decline worldwide with regional differences evident.”. However, the requirement for monitoring the continuously changing nature of the coronavirus and the advancement of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs) must yet to remain in focus”.
It added, “The current guidelines that were issued on February 17th, 2021 with ensuing extensions for international arrivals in India have been produced taking a risk-based perspective.
In addition, the current guidelines for international arrivals in India have been reviewed because of increasing vaccination coverage across the globe and the changing nature of the epidemic.”
Guidelines to Follow
Travelers to international destinations should follow these guidelines:
- If partially or not vaccinated, the travelers must undertake measures that include submitting samples for the post-arrival COVID-19 test at the point of arrival. After that, they will be permitted to leave the airport, stay home isolated for seven days, and get a re-test done on the eighth day of arrival in India. Monitor their health every seven days if the result is negative.
- The new report provides the protocols to be observed with international travelers and those to be followed by points of entry (airports, land borders, and seaports), airlines for risk scrawling of passengers.
- The ministry said this Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is valid now (from October) till further orders. Based on risk assessment, this report will be reviewed from time to time.
- India has signed agreements for reciprocal recognition of World Health Organization (WHO) or nationally recognized COVID-19 vaccines along with these countries. These 11 countries are France, the United Kingdom, Nepal, Germany, Belarus, Lebanon, Belgium, Ukraine, Armenia, and Serbia.
- Travelers arriving from these countries who have elapsed 15 days and are fully vaccinated since completion of the COVID-19 vaccination schedules will be permitted to leave the airport and are recommended to stay self-isolated and take all necessary precautions required home quarantine, self monitors their health for 14 days post-arrival.
- Download Aarogya Setu App on mobile devices.
- All travelers must submit a self-declaration form on the online Air Suvidha or any other online portal before the scheduled travel and upload a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR record. Before undertaking the journey, this test has to be conducted within 72 hours.
- If a report is found, the passenger should also submit documentation to establish the truth of the report. Otherwise, they will be prosecuted for committing a criminal act.
- In most cases, a passenger who has filled out a self-declaration form on Air Suvidha or any other online portal can board the aircraft. However, only essential travelers will be permitted to board the aircraft following the thermal screening procedure.
If a traveler is coming from a country excluding those covered under category A and are covered under category B of countries, they would be required to undergo the measures like submission of sample post-arrival COVID-19 test at the point of arrival, after which they will be permitted to leave the airport, re-test in India on the eighth day of arrival, self-isolation for seven days, regardless of their COVID-19 vaccine status.
The following countries are on the list of countries from which travel to India is recommended and may be required to take additional steps after arriving in India, along with (countries at risk) post-arrival testing:
- South Africa
- New Zealand
Hopefully, the above article helped you understand the quarantine criteria for foreign travelers. If you’re interested in traveling and have any queries, feel free to contact us today. We’d love to hear from you!