Covid Travel Guidelines: No pre-departure RT-PCR for those fully vaccinated in 82 countries; at-risk categorisation goes & no test on Day 8 of arrival | India Business News

NEW DELHI: In the biggest relaxation for international arrivals to India since Covid, the government will from February 14 allow passengers to upload their certificate of completing full primary Covid-19 vaccination schedule in 82 countries on a mutually accepted basis. The Union health ministry has also removed the list of at-risk countries and replaced it with another list of countries in respect of which primary vaccination schedule completion certificate is allowed to be uploaded. These include Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Maldives, New Zealand, Netherlands, Qatar, Singapore, Switzerland, UK and USA.
China and UAE are among those not on the list of 82 countries as of now.

The requirement of seven-day home quarantine and a Covid test on day 8 of arrivals also goes from February 14.
This major relaxation could spur foreign inbound travel to India if the suspension of scheduled commercial flights is lifted as fares under bubble flights are very steep. The revised guidelines for international arrivals issued by the health ministry says as much: “…cognizance is also given to the fact that economic activities need to be taken up in an unhindered manner.” The change comes into effect from February 14, 12.01 am (IST).
Under planning to travel, the guidelines say: “All travellers should (a) Submit complete and factual information in self-declaration form on the online Air Suvidha portal ( before the scheduled travel, including last 14 days travel details…. (b) Upload a negative Covid-19 RT-PCR report* (The test should have been conducted within 72 hrs prior to undertaking the journey) or certificate of completing full primary vaccination schedule of Covid-19 vaccination**.”
With at-risk categorisation gone, international arrival process becomes simpler. “Thermal screening would be carried out in respect of all passengers.. passengers found symptomatic during screening shall be immediately isolated and taken to medical facility as per health protocol. If tested positive, their contacts shall be identified and managed as per laid down protocol,” the revised rules says.
“2% of the total passengers in 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 such travellers are tested positive, their samples should be further sent for genomic testing at INSACOG laboratory network. They shall be treated/isolated as per laid down standard protocol,” it adds.
All travellers will self-monitor their health for next 14 days of arrival. If travellers under self-health monitoring, develop signs and symptoms suggestive of Covid, they will immediately self-isolate and report to their nearest health facility or call national helpline number (1075)/ state helpline number.
Each passenger shall also submit a declaration with respect to authenticity of the report and will be liable for criminal prosecution, if found otherwise. They will continue to give an undertaking on the portal through concerned airlines before they are allowed to undertake the journey that they would abide by the decision of the appropriate government authority any post arrival requirement to undergo home/institutional quarantine/ self-health monitoring.






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