New Delhi | PTI: The Union Health Ministry on Wednesday made it mandatory for international passengers travelling to India to produce a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR report for visiting the country.

Fully-vaccinated travelers from countries that have mutual recognition of vaccine certificates with India can self-monitor for 14 days after arrival, according to the revised guidelines for international arrivals in India.

If partially or not vaccinated, the travellers need to undertake measures which include submission of sample for post-arrival COVID-19 test at the point of arrival after which they will be allowed to leave the airport, home quarantine for seven days, re-test on the eighth day of arrival in India and if negative, further self monitor their health for next seven days.

These guidelines for international arrivals supersede of all guidelines issued on the subject on and after February 17, 2021, the Union health ministry said.

"In view increasing vaccination coverage across the globe and the changing nature of the pandemic, the existing guidelines for international arrivals in India have been reviewed," the ministry said.

The new document provides protocols to be complied with international travellers as well those to be followed by airlines, points of entry (airports, seaports and land border) for risk profiling of passengers.

This Standard Operating Procedure shall be valid from October 25 till further orders. Based on the risk assessment, this document shall be reviewed from time to time, the ministry said.

According to the ministry, India has signed agreements for mutual recognition of nationally or WHO recognised COVID-19 vaccines with 11 countries - the UK, France, Germany, Nepal, Belarus, Lebanon, Armenia, Ukraine, Belgium, Hungary and Serbia.

While planning for travel, all travellers should submit self-declaration form on the online Air Suvidha portal before the scheduled travel and upload a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR report. This test should have been conducted within 72 hours prior to undertaking the journey, according to the guidelines.

Each passenger shall also submit a declaration with respect to authenticity of the report and will be liable for criminal prosecution, if found otherwise.

If traveller is coming from a country excluding those covered under these category A (coming from a country with which India has reciprocal arrangements for mutual acceptance of WHO approved COVID-19 vaccines,) they would be required to undergo the stated measures.

The list of countries from where travellers would need to follow additional measures on arrival in India, including post-arrival testing (countries at-risk) are South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand Zimbabwe and countries in Europe including The UK.

Travellers under home quarantine or self-health monitoring, if develop signs and symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 or test positive for COVID-19 on re-testing, they will immediately selfisolate and report to their nearest health facility or call national helpline number (1075) or state helpline number.

Thermal screening would be carried out in respect of all the passengers by the health officials present at the airport. The passengers found to be symptomatic during screening shall be immediately isolated and taken to medical facility according to health protocol. If tested positive, their contacts shall be identified and managed under laid down protocol.


Posted By: Sugandha Jha