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Now, negative RT-PCR test report a ‘must’ for travellers coming to India

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on October 20, 2021

This will come into effect from Oct 25

Travellers coming to India will have to produce a negative RT-PCR test report from October 25. This comes even as some States have done away with the requirement for negative test report as Covid cases have come down.

According to the revised guidelines for international arrivals released on Wednesday, all in-bound passengers have to upload a negative RT-PCR report, and the test should have been conducted within 72 hours prior to the journey.

“Each passenger shall also submit a declaration with respect to the authenticity of the report, and will be liable for a criminal prosecution if found otherwise,” said the new guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Self-declaration form

Airlines will only allow passengers to board if they have filled in the self-declaration form on the Air Suvidha portal and uploaded the negative RT-PCR test report. At the time of boarding the flight, only asymptomatic travellers will be allowed to board after thermal screening, and all passengers will be advised to download the Aarogya Setu app on their mobile devices.

Passengers arriving from countries that include South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe and the European Union, will have to follow additional measures on arrival in India, including post-arrival testing. There are countries that have an agreement with India on mutual recognition of vaccination certificates of nationally-recognised or WHO-recognised vaccines.

Similarly, there are countries that do not have such an agreement with India, but they exempt Indian citizens fully vaccinated with nationally-recognised or WHO-recognised vaccines.

“On the basis of reciprocity, the travellers from such countries which provide quarantine-free entry to Indians are allowed certain relaxations on arrival,” said the guidelines.

Passengers from the UK, France, Germany, Nepal, Belarus, Lebanon, Armenia, Ukraine, Belgium, Hungary and Serbia have been put under this special category. Fully-vaccinated passengers from such countries will be allowed to leave the airport and must self-monitor their health for 14 days post-arrival. Travellers from other countries will have to submit the sample for the post-arrival Covid test at the point of arrival, after which they will be allowed to leave the airport. But they will have to home quarantine for 7 days and re-test on the 8th day of arrival in India, irrespective of the vaccination status.

Published on October 20, 2021

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