International passengers arriving at six major international airports from “at-risk” countries will have to mandatorily pre-book RT-PCR tests starting today.

The directive issued by the Ministry of Civil Aviation through an office memorandum last week, announced last week, applies to passengers from ‘at-risk’ countries who arrive at the six major airports — Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.

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Amid the spread of the Omicron variant of coronavirus, the Central government had mandated RT-PCR tests on arrival for passengers from certain countries.

The Air Suvidha portal is also being modified accordingly to stabilise the system to ensure that passengers do not have problems pre-booking or making payments, and it will be implemented across these six airports in the first phase.

Pre-booking RT-PCR test

Here's how passengers can pre-book their tests:

First, they will need to visit the official website of the international airport of the city they are travelling to.

RT-PCR pre-booking a must for passengers from ‘at-risk’ nations

Look for the ‘Book Covid-19 Test’ option on the top panel.

Select travel type. In this case, it will be international arrival.

Then they will be asked to fill in personal details such as name, email ID, mobile number, Aadhaar card/passport number, address, appointment date, time slot, etc.

They can then book the slot for their test on the arrival at the airport and follow the instructions as shown on the screen.

A regular RT-PCR test will cost them ₹500, while the cost of a rapid PCR test is ₹3,500.

Test results will be available within six-eight hours in the case of a regular test while it will be available in 30 minutes to 1.5 hours in the case of a rapid PCR test.

Passengers will have the option to reschedule their appointment or cancel the booking.

Countries currently on the ‘at-risk’ list include all European nations, including the UK, South Africa, Brazil, Botswana, China, Ghana, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Hong Kong and Israel.