Fully COVID vaccinated with a negative RT-PCR report? Welcome to India

Centre’s new guidelines for international travellers have kicked in; here’s a look at what’s allowed now, and what’s not

Overseas Citizen of India, foreigners, coronavirus, COVID-19, Lockdown, travel restrictions
International travellers who are fully vaccinated can leave the airport without undertaking any home quarantine.

The Centre has published fresh guidelines for international travellers heading to India. Under the new norms, which have just kicked in, those who are fully vaccinated can leave the airport without undertaking any home quarantine. This applies to travellers from countries that have a mutually agreed acceptance of World Health Organization (WHO) approved vaccines.

“In view of increasing vaccination coverage across the globe and the changing nature of the pandemic, the existing guidelines for international arrivals in India have been reviewed,” said the Centre in a statement.

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But a negative RT-PCR test remains mandatory for all international travellers coming to India. To smoothen the process, airlines have been told to check the test reports prior to boarding. They are also required to risk-profile their passengers.

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The RT-PCR should have been taken within 72 hours before departure. Plus, 15 days must have elapsed since the completion of vaccination.

Whom do the new norms cover?

The guidelines will be followed by passengers traveling from the UK, France, Germany, Nepal, Belarus, Lebanon, Armenia, Ukraine, Belgium, Hungary, and Serbia. For those from ‘countries at risk’, such as South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand and Zimbabwe, there are additional measures to be followed.

Only asymptomatic travellers will be allowed to board the flight following thermal screening.

Those who are partially vaccinated, or not vaccinated at all, have to submit samples for a post arrival COVID test. They can then leave the airport, but are required to home-quarantine for seven days. On the eighth day they should give another test; if it’s negative, they are required to self-monitor their health for another week.

Passengers need to download the Aarogya Setu app on their mobile devices. Airlines can allow those who have filled in the self-declaration form on the Air Suvidha portal to board the flight, while physical submission of the form is allowed as well.

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