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Friday, November 27, 2020

Explained: The new Covid-19 guidelines for those arriving at airports in India

Airports arrival guidelines & rules: International passengers arriving without an RT-PCR negative certificate and wishing to seek exemption from institutional quarantine may avail the facility available at the airports to undergo RT-PCR testing.

Written by Pranav Mukul , Edited by Explained Desk | New Delhi | Updated: November 26, 2020 2:24:58 pm
airport rules, airport guidelines, airport arrival guidelines, airport arrival rules, airport arrival rules and regulations, guidelines for airlines, dgca guidelines for domestic travel, guidelines for international flightsA passenger outside the arrival gate of T3 airport in New Delhi. (Express Photo: Abhinav Saha)

For those travelling into India from abroad, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has done away with the need for quarantining — whether institutional or home — as long as these passengers submit a Covid19 negative certificate from an RT-PCR test conducted within 72 hours of undertaking the journey. This comes as a part of the new guidelines for international arrivals issued by the Union Government on Thursday.

In what cases is one exempt from quarantine?

If a person is able to produce a negative Covid19 certificate from a test done within 72 hours prior to the journey, they are exempt from institutional as well as home quarantine. Earlier, a negative RT-PCR test report would only exempt a passenger from seven days of institutional quarantine and they would have to undergo seven days of mandatory home quarantine. Also, as per the previous rules, the test could be conducted within 96 hours of undertaking the journey. Other than that, only for compelling reasons/cases of human distress such as pregnancy, death in family, serious illness and parents with children of the age of 10 years or below, exemption from institutional quarantine will be provided in absence of a negative test certificate. Passengers opting for exemption under these categories will still have to undergo home quarantine for 14 days.

What is the procedure for seeking exemption from quarantine?

All travellers need to submit self-declaration form on the online portal — http://www.newdelhiairport.in — at least 72 hours before the scheduled travel, or physically after arrival at the respective health counters. If they wish to seek such exemption under the categories of human distress, they have to apply on the aforementioned online portal at least 72 hours before boarding. For passengers who have a negative RT-PCR test report, the same can be furnished upon arrival to seek exemption from quarantine. 📣 Express Explained is now on Telegram

What if a passenger could not get an RT-PCR test done prior to departure?

According to the guidelines, international passengers arriving without an RT-PCR negative certificate and wishing to seek exemption from institutional quarantine may also avail the facility available at the airports to undergo RT-PCR testing, where such provisions exist. Currently, airports including Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Cochin are offering RT-PCR testing facilities at their respective arrival halls. However, international passengers arriving without RT-PCR negative certificate and not opting for RT-PCR test at airport, where facility is available, or are arriving at an airport where testing facility is not available will have to undergo mandatory seven days institutional quarantine and seven days home quarantine.

Are these rules common across all states?

While these are guidelines issued by the central government, they are the minimum benchmark and the states are allowed to have any additional restrictions imposed with regards to quarantine and isolation as per their field assessment post arrival of passengers in the state concerned.

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