NEW DELHI: People flying into India will now need to get their Covid test done within 72 hours (three days) of heading here — instead of 96 hours (four days) earlier — to avoid seven-day institutional / paid quarantine and opt for 14-day home quarantine if their test report is negative.
The health ministry on Thursday issued fresh guidelines for international arrivals in India that requires all travellers to “submit self-declaration form on online portal ( www.newdelhiairport.in) at least 72 hours before the scheduled travel or physically after arrival at the respective health counters.”
The Centre says “states can have any additional restrictions imposed with regards to quarantine and isolation as per their field assessment post arrival of passengers in the state concerned.”
Till August 8, people coming from abroad were required to undergo seven-day paid quarantine followed by a week of stay at home. After that, international arrivals were considered for exemption from paid quarantine if they fell under any one of the five exempted categories — pregnant women; suffered a death in the family; suffering from serious illness (description to be provided); parents accompanied by children below 10 years and Covid-19 negative in recent RT-PCR test (done within 96 hours prior to undertaking the journey to India).
The health ministry’s fresh directives issued on Thursday requires people flying into India to “also give an undertaking on the portal or otherwise to aviation ministry, through concerned airlines before they are allowed to undertake the journey that they would abide by the decision of the appropriate government authority to undergo facility / home quarantine/ self-monitoring of their health for 14 days, or as warranted.”
“Only for compelling reasons/ cases of human distress such as pregnancy, death in family, serious illness and parent(s) with children of the age of 10 years or below, home quarantine may be permitted for 14 days,” it says while keeping those conditions unchanged, and permission will be to be sought 72 hours before there flight to India.
“Travellers may also seek exemption from institutional quarantine by submitting a negative RT-PCR test report. This test should have been conducted within 72 hrs prior to undertaking the journey. The test report should be uploaded on the portal for consideration. Each passenger shall also submit a declaration with respect to authenticity of the report and will be liable for criminal prosecution, if found otherwise. The test report could also be produced upon arrival at the point of entry airport in India,” the fresh guidelines say.
People flying from abroad without the RT-PCR test can get the same done on arrival if the airport, like Delhi and Mumbai, offers the facility. A negative report from this test will also be adequate for exemption from institutional quarantine.
“All such passengers opting for exemption from institutional quarantine… shall undertake self-monitoring of their health and will be exempted from quarantine. International passengers arriving without RT-PCR negative certificate and not opting for RT PCR test at airport (if facility is available) /arriving at an airport where testing facility is not available will have to undergo mandatory 7 days’ institutional quarantine and 7 days’ home quarantine,” it says.