With the advent of the Omicron virus, a version of the Covid-19 virus, many countries including India and the United States are implementing travel restrictions across all international borders. After the World Health Organization announced Omicron as a version of concern (VoC), the US has restricted travel from South Africa and seven other countries. Similarly, India has announced changes in international travel.
Related article: New changes in US consulate services in the US
Below we analyze the new rules affecting international visitors entering India, flights to India, and the protocols that must be maintained for international travel as of December 1, 2021. These new guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the Government of India will replace previous ones. Rules of Procedure set by the Indian Civil Aviation Ministry and the Director General of Civil Aviation, India after 11 November 2021
International flights to India – No scheduled flights
Regular international flights that were supposed to resume from December 15, 2021 are now unreasonable. Before the Omicron version of the Coivd-19 was identified in South Africa, India announced that all international flights would be allowed to enter the country. On December 1, 2021, the Indian Aviation Ministry reiterated that only approved flights participating in the bubble agreement with certain countries will be allowed to fly until further notice.
Related Article: Need a visa to travel to India? These 15 questions cover everything you need to know
Special international passenger flights under air bubble arrangements created with some 28 countries will continue to operate. According to the Ministry of Health, countries that are not “at risk” of Cubid-19 will receive “full capacity eligibility in accordance with the bilateral air service agreements”.
Air bubble: Under an air bubble agreement between two countries, airlines of the two countries can operate special but limited flights between their territories with certain restrictions.
New rules before boarding a flight to India
According to the new guidelines set by the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, passengers will have to do the following before boarding a flight to India –
- Submit a self-declaration form online Air Suvidha Portal. Only passengers who have filled out the self-declaration form on the Air Suvidha portal and uploaded the negative RT-PCR test report will be allowed to board the flight.
- Raised a negative report of COVID-19 RT-PCR that should have been received within 72 hours before making the trip
- Children under the age of 5 are exempt from testing.
- Send all details about travel made 14 days on boarding flight to India
- Some international flights may perform thermal tests before boarding a flight to India. Only asymptomatic travelers will be allowed to board after a thermal test.
- Each passenger will submit a self-declaration form attesting to the authenticity of the COVID19 RT-PCR report. If they find fraud, they will be liable for a criminal prosecution.
New rules after landing in India
- Passengers originating or moving from at-risk countries will undergo checks upon arrival
- Children under the age of 5 are exempt from testing.
- Depending on the test results, they will undergo home / institutional quarantine / self-health monitoring, according to justice
- If tested negative, a home quarantine will be enforced for 14 days
- Strict isolation protocols, if tested positive
Based on the epidemiological status of COVID-19 in some countries, travelers arriving in India will undergo further follow-up. A list of these specific countries is available at Website of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
New rules on arrival at India Airport
Social alienation must be maintained at all ports of entry once in India.
A thermal inspection will be carried out for all passengers by the Indian health officials present at the airport. If symptomatic are detected during the screening, they will be immediately isolated and taken to a medical facility as directed by the health authorities.
A physical copy of the self-declaration form completed online should be presented to the airport health staff
In addition, an online version of the details uploaded to the Air Suvidha portal is also compatible at the airport. Travelers are advised to download and / or take a screenshot of the appropriate page on their mobile devices.
Are you traveling to India to sign an H1-B visa? Calculate the waiting times for a visa appointment here.
New quarantine rules after arrival in India
After presenting a negative RT-PCR test and a thermal test at the airport, travelers will be allowed to reach their destination or board connecting flights. However, they have to monitor their own health for 14 days upon arrival. If they develop Corona virus symptoms, or are tested positive for COVID-19 on re-examination, they should isolate and report to the nearest health facility or call the National Aid Center number – 1075 or the state’s local aid number.
Important to note: A small sub-section, 5% of travelers on a flight to India will be randomly selected to undergo post-arrival checks upon arrival. It will be selected by the airline staff and if selected, passengers must comply. The cost of testing these passengers will be borne by MoCA. Additional steps will depend on the test results.
Children under the age of 5 are exempt from pre- and post-arrival checks.
List of countries at risk
Passengers coming from the following countries will need to follow additional steps in arriving in India, including post-arrival checks –
- Countries in Europe including the United Kingdom
- South Africa
- New Zealand
- Hong Kong
The trip today is not safe and while everyone is planning plans for his next trip, it is important to do so Protect your trip with travel insurance. Whether it is an emergency trip or a trip to be with family during the holidays, travel insurance can protect your trip by helping you reimburse non-reimbursable costs such as air travel costs, border protection and loss of luggage or excessive costs resulting from medical emergencies . In turbulent times like this, it is important to consider travel insurance.
As we continue to follow the changes in international travel, Path2USA will continue to update this page for the latest updates regarding travel to India.