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India issues new guidelines regarding international arrivals procedure

India has issued a set of new guidelines regarding international arrival procedures that will be effective from 22nd February,2021, 23:59 hours.

India has consistently been making changes to their procedures to process arrivals into India in an effort to try and and stop the transmission of new variants of COVID-19 in India.

Negative COVID-19 test required for all arriving passengers

All travellers will be needed to fill a self-declaration form on the Air Suvidha Portal, along with a negative PCR COVID-19 test result, which should be taken not more than 72 hours prior to departure.

As per the new guidelines, arrival into India without a negative COVID-19 test result will only be allowed for those travelling to India in the family’s exigency of death. However, even these passengers will need to apply for exemption on the Air Suvidha ( portal. On arrival in India, they will be tested at the arrival airport and allowed to exit the airport or catch a connecting flight.

For all travellers coming/transiting from flights originating from the United Kingdom, Europe or the Middle East, they will be needed to provide their travel history of the last 14 days on the Air Suvidha Portal before boarding a flight back to India. This means anyone flying in from/via Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, London, Frankfurt, etc., will have to submit their history of travel of the last 14 days.

All travellers coming/transiting from flights originating from the United Kingdom, Europe or the Middle East will be subjected to a mandatory self-paid confirmatory RT-PCR tests on arrival. The entry made in the SDF regarding telephone number and address would be reconfirmed.

Those arriving from the UK, Brazil or South Africa will be allowed to catch their connecting flight after their RT-PCR reports come negative, which could take between 6-8 hours. Those who want to exit the airport, they can give their samples and leave. In both cases, a home quarantine of 7 days is applicable.

Photo: Ministry of Civil Aviation, India

If you have a flight to India after 22nd February,2021, you will compulsorily need to present a negative RT-PCR COVID-19 test result and in many cases, a second test is to be done on arrival as well. The new guidelines are applicable for all nationalities, including Indians. There are particular guidelines for short visits less than 14 days, but all sorts of arrival testing are still applicable to them. Meanwhile, international air travel is still barred apart from Vande Bharat flights and air bubble flights till 28th February,2021.

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