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Updated 04 January 2021

Quarantine in India - Wego

Table Of Contents

Overview

How long are international passengers required to quarantine?

Who are exempted from mandatory institutional quarantine?

What is the SOP for qualifying for the exemption?

Where can you quarantine after reaching India?

State-wise quarantine guidelines for international travelers

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Kolkata

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Ahmedabad

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Overview

The global pandemic has drastically and dramatically changed the way we see the world. Along with increased health awareness among people, new standards of living and traveling or the ‘new normal’ has been established. Subsequently, social distancing, quarantine, and isolation have become a part of regular human life.

India is one of the worst-hit countries in the world in the wake of the novel coronavirus. As of January 4, with a whopping number of over 1 crore cases (1 CRORE = 10,000,000) and 145k deaths, the country is teetering on the edge of an uncontrolled outbreak in its tussle with the deadly disease. Given the challenging times, the country and its ministry are looking to facilitate travel for eligible passengers within and across its borders, introducing travel bubbles with several countries and operating repatriation flights.

If you are a foreigner or an Indian stuck overseas and would like to fly back to India, there are specific quarantine guidelines you’d need to follow. Read along to get all answers to your queries regarding India quarantine rules.

How long are international passengers required to quarantine?

The recommended duration of quarantine is up to 14 days from the time of possible exposure to the SARS-CoV-2. In keeping with this standard guideline, the Ministry of Home Affairs in India has mandated all passengers arriving in the country by international flights to undergo a week-long institutional quarantine. This is to be followed by seven days of home quarantine, where you’d need to closely monitor your health.

The cost of the institutional quarantine has to be borne by the passengers. Acceptance of this obligation needs to be signed and submitted at the overseas embassy before the confirmation of their booking. However, in a modification of the guidelines released on August 2, the Indian government has been letting off eligible passengers without the compulsory institutional quarantine.

Passengers arriving from UK, European and Middle East Countries will have to undergo at least 7 days of institutional quarantine, after which they may take the COVID-19 RT-PCR test. Only if they test negative, will they be allowed to spend the remaining seven days in home quarantine.

Who are exempted from mandatory institutional quarantine?

International travel

Having come into effect from August 8, the guidelines stating the exemption comes as a relief to all international passengers. If travelers can cite compelling reasons such as pregnancy, severely ill health, or death in the family, they can opt-out of paid institutional quarantine. Passengers accompanied by children under ten years of age are also eligible for the same.

Alternatively, passengers may seek an exemption in the form of home quarantine for a total period of 14 days instead of the 7+7 day rule. In this case, travelers must present a negative RT-PCR test report on arrival at the airport. The test for the same shouldn’t be older than 96 hours.

What is the SOP for qualifying for the exemption?

Now that you know about the possibility of going back home without undergoing institutional quarantine, here’s what you need to do to apply for one:

  • If you want to get the exemption for compelling reasons, you must apply for it through the online Air Suvidha portal on newdelhiairport.in. The request should be submitted at least 72 hours before you board your flight so that the government’s approval can be intimated to you online in time.
  • For consideration of the second exemption clause, the test report must be uploaded on the portal. A declaration about the report’s authenticity is required as well. If any forgery or fraud is detected, passengers will be liable to criminal prosecution. The same can also be produced at the airport upon arrival.
  • While the government guidelines advise all passengers to download the Arogya Setu app on their mobile devices, it becomes mandatory for passengers who will opt for an exemption for exceptional or compelling reasons.
  • People who wish to travel to their home states through a connecting flight will be allowed to do so only after the completion of mandatory quarantine unless it is a feeder flight.
  • It is to be noted that only after the appropriate thermal screening, asymptomatic passengers will be allowed to board the flight.
  • If you are arriving in India to other states via transit in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, or Cochin, you can now be exempted from institutional quarantine even if you aren’t carrying the RT-PCR certificate. It’s because the airports in these cities have begun airport testing of all international arrivals. Once your test comes out to be negative, you may go ahead with your connecting flight or go forward with home quarantine for the required number of days (as mandated by the state). More airports will start opening the facility for COVID-19 tests soon.

 

Where can you quarantine after reaching India?

Quarantine centers have been designated by the government to avoid the spread of the virus from potentially infected foreign returnees. These facilities strictly adhere to all COVID-19 guidelines issued by the center. Apart from the government facilities, several hotels have been approved in the airport cities to house quarantined passengers.

Mumbai

Various hotels in the Mumbai city and suburban regions are certified by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai as quarantine hotels. Find a few below:

  • Niranta Hotel – Airport hotel
  • Grand Hyatt – 5-star hotel
  • The Emerald Hotel – 4-star hotel
  • Ginger Hotel Mahakali – 3-star hotel
  • OYO Town House 058 JB Nagar – 2-star hotel
  • Veera Residency – Budget hotel

Delhi

In May, the Delhi government had ordered various hotels, including several premium ones in Aerocity, to provide rooms for quarantine facility to inbound passengers. Some of those in the list are:

  • Hotel Le Meridien
  • W. Marriot
  • Hotel Pride Plaza
  • Holiday Inn
  • Aloft Hotel
  • IBIS Hotel
  • The Lemon Tree Premier
  • Red Fox

Bangalore

Hotels identified as quarantine centers by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) include:

  • Empire Hotel in Koramangala
  • Sabarwal Residency in Sudhama Nagar
  • Lemon Tree Premier in Ulsoor
  • OYO Town on Kensington Road
  • Hotel Citadel in Anand Rao Circle
  • Key Select Whitefield on Swami Vivekananda Road

Kolkata

Several hotels, including five-star establishments, had been set apart as quarantine facilities in the city since the advent of the Vande Bharat Mission. Given the current situation, most of them are offering a discounted stay of up to 50%. Some international charter flights and other Vande Bharat mission flights (Kolkata-London flights now operating) arriving at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Airport. Institutional quarantine, however, is not mandatory. Following is the updated list of quarantine hotels in Kolkata:

  • The Fern Residency Kolkata
  • Pride Plaza Hotel
  • Red Velvet Inn
  • Monotel Luxury Business Hotel Kolkata
  • Hotel O2 VIP

Chennai

Apart from the arrangements at a few locations such as Tambaram Sanitorium and Airforce Station, several hotels are offering approved quarantine services in Chennai at almost 50% reduced booking rates.

  • Feathers Radha Hotel
  • ITC Grand Chola
  • Holiday Inn
  • Raddison Blue Hotel GRT
  • IBIS Hotel

 

State-wise quarantine guidelines for international travelers

While the Indian ministry has laid out the above rules for international arrivals, clauses may vary from state to state, depending on their own set of protocols.

  • Telangana and many other states, for instance, have provision for institutional quarantine for seven days at designated hotels at special charges or government facilities free of cost.
  • Jammu and Kashmir has an obligatory  COVID-19 test upon arrival and 14-day home quarantine (institutional quarantine if you do not have a contactable number or Aarogya Setu app). Only defense personnel and business travelers returning within 14 days may be released from the regulations. If your result is negative, you can go ahead with the home quarantine.
  • Andhra Pradesh requires all arriving foreigners and expatriates to enroll on its online portal spandana.app.gov.in.
  • At the Bangalore airport in Karnataka, asymptomatic international passengers only need to home quarantine for 14 days. A swab test is mandatory for short-term travelers (stay up to 7 days) and all other symptomatic passengers. For inter-state travelers, there’s no requirement of home quarantine as well.
  • In West Bengal, quarantine for symptomatic passengers is decided on a case to case basis. All other passengers are advised to stay in home isolation for 14 days with careful self-monitoring apart from the negative COVID-19 test certificate being mandatory on some flight routes. Before arrival, travelers need to submit the declaration form on Sadhane App.
  • Kerala no longer requires its expat returnees to undergo institutional quarantine. A 14-day home isolation period would suffice unless an independent room at home is unavailable. You, however, need to register all requisite details at covid19jagratha.kerala.nic.in. once you book your flight tickets. You can even cut short your quarantine stay after 7 days by undergoing a COVID test. Passengers travelling to Kerala for less than 7 days for business, medical and legal purposes may also be exempted.
  • Goa has waived the institutional quarantine for asymptomatic travelers, keeping in place only the 14-day home quarantine.

For more details, you can visit the official site of the Airports Authority of India. These quarantine rules apply to passengers who are coming from foreign land through repatriation flights. Scheduled international flights still remain suspended till January 31 until further notice. The Aviation Ministry is hopeful of resuming full-fledged international air travel by the first quarter of 2021.

India Quarantine - Wego

 

”FAQs”

How long are international passengers required to quarantine?

The recommended duration of quarantine is up to 14 days from the time of possible exposure to the SARS-CoV-2. Read the full article on Wego Travel Blog.

Who are exempted from mandatory institutional quarantine?

Scheduled to come into effect from August 8, the new guidelines stating the exemption comes as a relief to all international passengers. Get the full information on Wego Travel Blog.

What is the SOP for qualifying for the exemption?

Now that you know about the possibility of going back home without undergoing institutional quarantine, here’s what you need to do to apply for one. Read the full details on Wego Travel Blog.

Where can you quarantine after reaching India?

Quarantine centers have been designated by the government to avoid the spread of the virus from potentially infected foreign returnees. Check the full article on Wego Travel Blog.

State-wise quarantine guidelines for international travelers?

While the Indian ministry has laid out the above rules for international arrivals, clauses may vary from state to state, depending on their own set of protocols. See the full details on Wego Travel Blog.