India has announced that travelers will no longer be required to undertake a mandatory seven-day quarantine or test on arrival and on the eighth day of their stay.
The new guidelines, which will take effect from 14 February, requires visitors to upload a negative RT-PCR obtained within 72 hours of their arrival in India on the Air Suvidha portal. (Exceptions apply).
A 14-day self-monitoring period is recommended according to the revised protocols, but not mandatory.
The “country at risk” classification was also dropped, removing the requirement for passengers to provide samples and wait for the results at the airport.
“The demarcation of ‘at risk’ countries and other [has been] removed. Thus, the need to give samples at the port of arrival and wait until the result is obtained from ‘at risk’ countries was dispensed with. ”
According to Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, about 2% of international travelers from all nations will be asked to leave a sample but will be allowed to leave the airport.
If so, the samples will be forwarded to the INSACOG laboratory network for genomic testing and further research.
Unquarantined travel to India will also be possible for fully vaccinated travelers whose vaccine certificates were issued in countries other than India.
To date, 82 nations have signed an agreement with India on mutual recognition of vaccine certificates. Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Nepal and Singapore are among them.
On the “basis of reciprocity”, vaccination certificates will also be accepted from nations that do not have an agreement, but that exclude fully vaccinated Indians from quarantine.
“In addition to submitting a negative RT-PCR report (taken 72 hours prior to travel), [there is an] option to upload a certificate of [having completed] primary vaccination against COVID-19 provided by [other] countries [which will be accepted] on a reciprocal basis”, said the Minister of Health.
All inbound travelers must still complete a self-declaration form on the government’s Air Suvidha portal detailing their travel history in the 14 days prior to departure.
As per the new travel regulations, only asymptomatic people will be able to board aircraft to India.