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Last Updated – October 2020
The Indian travel sector has slowly readjusting itself to the new normal. From travel bubbles to contactless travel to open-dated accommodation packages, the Indian tourism industry is taking baby steps to enter the new life. Travellers have also started looking into their next vacation and staying updated on upcoming travel news and guidelines.
Are you planning to travel to Uttarakhand? Read on to know more about the latest quarantine rules and COVID-19 testing guidelines in Uttarakhand.
Uttarakhand quarantine rules
Both domestic as well as international passengers arriving at any of the airports in Uttarakhand will be thermally screened. If found symptomatic, they will have to get tested for COVID-19 at their own expense.
There is no restriction on interstate and intrastate movement of persons, private vehicles and goods including those for cross land-border in Uttarakhand; any person from an Indian state can enter Uttarakhand without the necessity of permission, approval or e-permits.
All travellers to Uttarakhand have to mandatorily register themselves on the states’ Smart city web portal prior to their travel and upload the relevant documents
Domestic travellers from other Indian states are not mandated to quarantine when travelling to Uttarakhand.
According to the Bureau of Migration, all international passengers travelling to Uttarakhand must mandatorily fill an online self-declaration form and register themselves and their family members on the Uttarakhand Smart city web portal at least 72 hours prior to their departure to India. On arrival all passengers are mandated to undergo quarantine for 14 days, which constitutes seven days of paid institutional quarantine at their own cost, followed by seven days of isolation at home/suitable accommodation.
For compelling reasons or cases of human distress such as pregnancy, death in the family, severe illness and parent(s) with children of the age of 10 years or below, home quarantine may be permitted for 14 days.
Travellers may also seek exemption from institutional quarantine by submitting a negative RT-PCR test report on arrival. This test should have been conducted within 96 hrs prior to undertaking the journey. The test report should be uploaded on the portal for consideration.
A few hotels in Dehradun, Uttarakhand are providing paid institutional quarantine facilities for international travellers. Readers are advised to check with the hotel authority regarding the facilities’ current status to quarantine travellers.
COVID-19 testing guidelines and facilities in Uttarakhand
As sanctioned by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), coronavirus tests in Uttarakhand are of the following types: Real-time RT PCR tests, Rapid Antigen tests, CBNAAT tests, and TrueNat tests.
Along with government medical centres, numerous private labs have been set up following ICMR guidelines to meet the COVID-19 testing demands in Uttarakhand. You can find a list of government and private labs in Uttarakhand from where you can get a COVID test report here. There are an estimated 42 government hospitals/ laboratories and 5 private ones in the state of Uttarakhand doing COVID-19 testing using various diagnostic modalities.
Who should be prioritized for testing?
Uttarakhand government has issued new guidelines on COVID-19 testing, stating that samples of the following categories of people should be taken for the test:
- All asymptomatic (ILI – Influenza-like illness symptoms) individuals with a history of international travel in the last 14 days
- All asymptomatic (ILI symptoms) contacts of laboratory-confirmed case
- All asymptomatic (ILI symptoms) health care workers/ frontline workers involved in containment and mitigation of COVID-19
- All patients of Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI)
- Asymptomatic direct and high-risk contacts of a confirmed case to be tested once between Day 5 and Day 10 of coming into contact
- All symptomatic ILI within hotspots/containment zones
- All hospitalised patients who develop ILI symptoms
- All symptomatic ILI among returnees and migrants within 7 days of illness
- No emergency procedure (including deliveries) should be delayed for lack of test
What do you need to know and prepare before getting tested?
Aside from the list of prioritized people above, you should get tested for COVID-19 if you have one or more of the following clinical symptoms for a prolonged duration: fever, difficulty in breathing, cough, sore throat, running nose, loss of taste or smell, and body pain. It would take anywhere between 3 hours to 2 days for the test results to arrive. Until then, you must isolate yourself to prevent the spread of infection.
You will likely be charged INR 800 for Rapid antigen test and 2,400 for an RT PCR test.
It’s recommended to call on the toll-free number 1075 or central helpline number +91-11-23978046 for information before going to get tested. In Uttarakhand, you may also call 104, the state helpline number for COVID-19. District-wise helpline contact numbers can be found here.
Please carry your government ID card (Aadhar card/Passport/Voter ID) and proof of your address when you proceed to get tested at any of the laboratories/hospitals.