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Tuesday, March 02, 2021

Flying to India? Here are the Covid airport guidelines you need to know

Covid Travel Guidelines: Airports across the country have issued specialised protocols for international travellers planning to visit the country amid the pandemic. We take a look at some of these guidelines.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: February 5, 2021 5:45:31 pm
All the four people had returned from South Africa. (File)

With the steady decrease of coronavirus cases and the gradual easing of restrictions in India, international travel could potentially pick up over the next few months. While the Indian government has extended the ban on scheduled international commercial flights till February 28, some special international flights have been operating to and from India under the Vande Bharat Mission and bilateral “air bubble” agreements.

At present, India has travel agreements with at least 24 countries, including the United States, Maldives and the UK. Last month, flight services between India and the United Kingdom resumed following a brief 16-day suspension after a new and more virulent strain of coronavirus was discovered in the UK. The Union Health Ministry also released a detailed set of guidelines and safety protocols for travellers arriving in India from the UK.

Airports across the country have issued specialised guidelines for international travellers planning to visit the country amid the pandemic.

Here, we take a look at the guidelines issued by some of India’s major airports

Delhi quarantine and arrival rules 

Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport is permitting international travellers arriving in the country to forego mandatory quarantine as long as they present a negative certificate of a RT-PCR test conducted within 72 hours of departure or on arrival at the airport. Passengers without test results will have to undergo mandatory 7 days of institutional quarantine at their own cost as well as another 7 days of home quarantine.

However, passengers travelling from the UK will have to undergo a mandatory Covid test both in the UK as well as in India. Those who test negative, will have to quarantine at home for 14 days. The cost of the RT PCR test in India will be incurred by the passengers themselves. According to the airport’s website, getting tested at Delhi Airport will cost Rs 3,400 per person.

All international travellers are required to fill a ‘self-reporting’ form with their health status on the Air Suvidha online portal.

Mumbai quarantine and arrival rules 

Travellers arriving in Mumbai from the UK, Middle East, South Africa and Europe will have to undergo mandatory institutional quarantine of up to 14 days. Passengers arriving from other countries will be able to self isolate at home for 14 days as long as they are able to present a negative RT PCR test.

All travellers are also required to fill in the self-reporting form on the Air Suvidha online portal, at least 72 hours before the scheduled time of travel. To seek exemption from institutional quarantine, passengers will have to apply on the portal and submit a negative RT-PCR test upon arrival. The test should have been conducted within 72 hours of undertaking the journey.

But an exemption will be awarded to travellers from the UK, Middle East, South Africa and Europe only in “exceptional cases”, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport website states.

Hyderabad quarantine and arrival rules 

All international passengers arriving at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad must provide a self-reporting form to the Airport Health Organisation and a duplicate stamped copy to immigration. The form will also have to be submitted on the online portal at least 72 hours before the time of travel.

Passengers will also have to provide an undertaking stating that they will undergo mandatory 14 day quarantine, which would include 7 days of institutional quarantine, followed by 7 days of home isolation. Home quarantine for 14 days will be permitted for cases of human distress such as pregnancy, death in the family, serious illness or if a passenger is travelling with children below the age of 10.

Travellers who submit a negative RT-PCR test report upon arrival may also be exempted from institutional quarantine. The test result will have to be uploaded on the portal for consideration, as per the airport’s guidelines.

Bengaluru quarantine and arrival rules 

All international passengers arriving in Karnataka are required to carry a Covid-19 negative certificate, issued within 72 hours from departure. Passengers with a valid negative certificate will also be exempted from home quarantine. Those without negative certificates will have to undergo a mandatory RT-PCR test at the airport and stay in home quarantine until the results are declared. Passengers also have the option of pre-booking a test at the airport.

Upon arrival, international passengers will be asked to present their self-reporting form and their status will be checked on the Arogya setu app, Quarantine watch app and Apthamitra app.

All passengers arriving from the UK must present a negative test result taken within 72 hours of their departure and must also undertake an additional Covid test at the Bengaluru airport. Those who test negative are mandated to follow home quarantine for 14 days.

Kochi quarantine and arrival rules 

All international passengers arriving in Kochi will have to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine. Home quarantine is permitted for asymptomatic passengers. If they test negative for Covid on the seventh day after their arrival, then the remaining seven days of quarantine are not mandatory.

International passengers are advised to register on the Air Suvidha Portal as well as the Kerala government’s Covid-19 Jagratha platform.

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