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Updated 2 June 2022

Taking notes from the unprecedented second wave of COVID-19 that shook the country, India has mandated strict testing measures across its borders to ensure that the virus spread is under control. 

Following a dip in the number of Omicron cases, the Government of India has relaxed its arrival guidelines for travellers from all over the world. Presenting a negative RT PCR report is no longer a requirement for most travellers. Additionally, the government has also relaxed the home quarantine and testing in quarantine requirements.

Here are the latest PCR test entry requirements in India that you should be aware of.

PCR testing requirements in India

Some eligible arrivals to India are NO longer required to mandatorily upload a negative PCR test report taken within 72 hours. All travellers to India should:

  • Submit complete and factual information in self-declaration form on the online Air Suvidha portal before the scheduled travel, including the last 14 days of travel details.
  • Upload any of the two documents:
    • A negative COVID-19 RT-PCR report conducted within 72 hrs prior to undertaking the journey
      or,
    • Certificate of completing full primary vaccination schedule of COVID-19 vaccination. (Only some eligible countries)
  • Each passenger shall also submit a declaration with respect to the authenticity of the report and will be liable for criminal prosecution if found otherwise.
  • Passengers should also give an undertaking on the portal or otherwise to the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India, through concerned airlines before they are allowed to undertake the journey that they would abide by the decision of the appropriate government authority regarding any post-arrival requirement to undergo home/institutional quarantine/ self-health monitoring, as warranted.

Please note that the travellers from countries that provide quarantine-free entry to Indians will ONLY be allowed to upload their Covid-19 vaccination certificate, instead of the RT-PCR negative test report. Currently, there are 117 countries eligible for this requirement. You can get a full list of the eligible countries from here.

 

What about testing at the airport?

The demarcation for ‘at-risk countries’ and ‘other countries’ has been scrapped and arrivals from all countries are subject to the same rules.

 

On arrival requirements

Travellers arriving at the airports will go through the following protocols:

  • De-boarding has to be done ensuring physical distancing.
  • Thermal screening would be carried out in respect of all the passengers by the health officials present at the airport. The self-declaration form filled out online shall be shown to the airport health staff.
  • The passengers found to be symptomatic during screening will be immediately isolated and taken to a medical facility as per health protocol. If tested positive, their contacts shall be identified and managed as per laid down protocols. Contacts of the suspected cases are the co-passengers seated in the same row, 3 rows in front and 3
    rows behind along with identified cabin crew.

The following post-arrival protocol shall also be followed

  •  A sub-section (2% of the total passengers in the flight) shall undergo random post-arrival testing at the airport on arrival.
  • Such travellers in each flight shall be identified by the concerned airlines (preferably from different countries). They will submit the samples and shall be allowed to leave the airport.
  • If the travellers test positive, their samples should further be sent for genomic testing at the INSACOG laboratory network.
  • They shall be treated/isolated as per laid down standard protocol.
  •  All travellers will self-monitor their health for 14 days post-arrival.

If travellers under self-health monitoring, develop signs and symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, they will immediately self-isolate and report to their nearest health facility or call the National helpline number (1075)/ State Helpline Number.

Please note that International travellers arriving through seaports/land ports will also have to undergo the same protocol as mentioned above, except for the fact that the facility for online registration is not available for such passengers. Such travellers shall submit the self-declaration form to the concerned authorities of the Government of India at seaports/land ports on arrival.

 

Exemptions

To board any international flight to India, some arriving passengers are required to get an RT-PCR test conducted within 72 hours of flight departure. Children under 5 years of age will be exempted from both pre-and-post-arrival tests.

 

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