The new travel guidelines will come into effect from January 11, 2022.

A passenger in a face mask and face shield wheeling luggage outside an international airportRepresentative/PTI
news COVID-19 Friday, January 07, 2022 - 16:45

From January 11, all international passengers flying into India will have to mandatorily undergo seven-day home quarantine after arrival, the Union government announced on Friday, January 11, issuing new travel guidelines in view of rising COVID-19 cases in India. The new guidelines for international passengers come on a day India reported over one lakh new COVID-19 cases, including 3,007 new cases of the Omicron variant. 

All travellers landing in Indian airports need to submit a self-declaration form on the online Air Suvidha portal and now need to to upload a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR report not older than 72 hrs prior to undertaking the journey on the Air Suvidha portal. The travellers need to also mention details of travel, if any, in the last 14 days. Only those who have uploaded their declaration forms and RT-PCR negative report will be allowed to board the flight to India. 

Travellers from countries classified as ‘at risk’ will also be subjected to an RT-PCR test on arrival. Passengers have been suggested to pre-book the test online on the Air Suvidha Portal, to facilitate timely testing. If they test negative at the airport, they will have to follow home quarantine for seven days and shall undergo an RT-PCR test on the eighth day of arrival in India. The passengers then need to upload the results of repeat RT-PCR test on the Air Suvidha portal.

The following countries are currently classified as ‘at risk': Countries in Europe, including the United Kingdom, South Africa, Brazil, Botswana, China, Ghana, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Hong Kong, Israel, Congo, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Nigeria, Tunisia, and Zambia.

As for those countries not marked ‘at risk,’ a sub-section (2%) of the total flight passengers coming from such testing shall undergo post-arrival testing at random at the airport on arrival. These travellers will be selected by the concerned airlines. These passengers, too, will have to undergo home quarantine for 7 days and shall undertake RT-PCR test on the eighth day of arrival in India.

Children under five years of age are exempted from both pre-arrival and post-arrival testing. However, if found symptomatic on arrival or during home quarantine, they shall undergo testing and treated as per laid down protocol, the government guidelines state. 

India on January 7, 2022 reported a single day rise of 1,17,100 new coronavirus infections, while the active cases increased to 3,71,363, the highest in around 120 days, according to the data updated at 8 am.