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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Coronavirus testing for airport arrivals: how rules vary from state to state

Several state and city administrations had imposed the requirement for passengers to have their RT-PCR tests conducted before travelling to prevent anyone infected with coronavirus from travelling into their jurisdictions.

Written by Pranav Mukul , Edited by Explained Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: September 14, 2021 12:46:58 pm
Travellers wearing face masks, shields and gloves on a flight during the pandemic (File photo)

As more and more people get vaccinated across the country, an increasing number of states are now offering exemption from RT-PCR testing requirements to vaccinated passengers traveling into their jurisdictions. In addition to Covid-19 testing requirements, a number of states are also doing away with quarantine rules for those who are fully or partially vaccinated against Covid-19.

But despite the economy having opened up progressively, the rules that have been put in place across states present a mishmash of discordant stipulations that could end up confusing air travellers.

Why is RT-PCR testing important for travellers?

Several state and city administrations had imposed the requirement for passengers to have their RT-PCR tests conducted 48 hours before travelling – or sooner – to prevent anyone infected with coronavirus from travelling into their jurisdictions. With the inoculation drive gaining momentum, several states have done away with this requirement.

Correction: Bihar falls in the list of states with ‘No Requirement’. Darbhanga has updated its guidelines to do away with the RT-PCR requirement.

How are states updating their travel guidelines?

While some states have completely done away with any testing requirement, some are exempting passengers who have been vaccinated from getting tested before travelling. However, there are still a number of states and cities that are compulsorily seeking RT-PCR test certificates — in some cases even when the passengers are fully-vaccinated.

Is there a set of central guidelines for vaccinated travellers?

While the Union government has advised states that those who are fully vaccinated do not need RT-PCR test certificates to travel, some states have continued to insist for pre-arrival or on-arrival testing.

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