As the world continues to try to contain the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19, India has revised its travel guidelines for anyone entering the country from abroad.
Starting Tuesday, all travelers on international flights to India must undergo a mandatory seven-day home quarantine period upon arrival.
After quarantine, passengers must undergo a follow-up PCR test and test negative in order to end the period of home isolation.
If you are planning to travel to India in the near future, here is everything you need to know before you go.
How long should I quarantine?
All international travelers to India must now self-quarantine at home for seven days.
On the eighth day, travelers will take a PCR test and upload the test results to the Air Suvidha portal. If the results are negative, the quarantine ends, but passengers must continue to monitor their symptoms for the next seven days.
Do the new rules apply to vaccinated passengers?
The new rules apply to all arriving passengers, regardless of their vaccination status.
Should children be quarantined upon arrival in India?
Yes, children must also quarantine themselves at home for a week if they arrive in India on an international flight.
Do I need a negative PCR test to take a flight?
You must have a negative PCR test done within 72 hours before you can fly to India. Travelers should also upload the results to the Air Suvidha portal before flying.
Children under 5 are exempt from the pre-arrival and post-arrival testing rules, but those aged 5 and over must be tested. Any child who develops symptoms of Covid-19 at any time during their trip will need to have a PCR test, regardless of their age.
What should I do before flying to India?
Some documents need to be submitted by passengers traveling to India.
First of all, there is a self-declaration form that can be submitted online on the Air Suvidha portal, it must be completed before travel and must include details of all countries visited in the previous 14 days.
There is also a fairly serious declaration to complete for each passenger, certifying that the negative Covid-19 certificate submitted is genuine, and accepting criminal prosecution if it turns out otherwise.
Travelers should also download the Aarogya Setu app to their mobile devices for the purposes of tracking and tracing Covid-19 in India.
Will I be tested for Covid-19 when I arrive in India?
Travelers from countries designated “at risk” by authorities will have to undergo further PCR tests for Covid-19 upon arrival in India.
Currently, the countries on the list include UK, Europe, China, Brazil, and several African countries. The United Arab Emirates is not on the current list. Updates will be made to the list according to the prevailing epidemiological situation of Covid-19 in each destination.
Travelers who require an arrival test are encouraged to make an appointment in advance to speed things up on arrival, and will also need to fund the cost of their test.
All other travelers may be subjected to additional testing upon arrival, with authorities saying 2% of all arriving passengers will be randomly selected for a PCR test at the airport. Thermal checks will also be carried out by health authorities at airports across the country.
Which countries are on India’s “at risk” list for travel?
The most recent list is available on the website of the Department of Health and Family Welfare.
- All countries in Europe, including the UK
- South Africa
- New Zealand
- Hong Kong
What happens if I test positive in India?
If you get a positive PCR result, you will need to go to an isolation center where a doctor will assess you and advise you on the follow-up process.
Close contacts of a positive case will be contacted, including co-passengers and anyone at home or hotel where the person with Covid-19 has been isolated. Other passengers who were seated three rows in front and three rows behind anyone who tested positive will also be considered close contacts.
If you isolate yourself at home or in a hotel and develop symptoms that could be due to Covid-19, you should go to the nearest health facility or call the national helpline for further information. further advice.
Until when are the new rules in place?
No end date has been set for the new home quarantine rules with official documents indicating the rules are in place until ‘new orders’.
It is likely that the new measures will remain in place as long as the number of Covid-19 cases remains high. India recorded 45,845 new cases of Covid-19 on Monday, alongside 37 new deaths. The country has recorded more than 35 million total cases since the start of the global pandemic, according to data from Johns Hokpins University.
Anything else i need to know?
Different states in India may also have their own rules for handling Covid-19, so travelers should check the rules in place for the destination they are traveling to.
Updated: January 11, 2022, 10:08 AM