Arriving on international flight to Mumbai Airport? Be prepared for a compulsory Rapid PCR Test when arriving from Europe, UAE and some other countries

The Government of India is putting new arrival guidelines to screen passengers from various countries and keep the new Omicron variant at bay from spreading through the country. However, states can implement a much stricter version if they so deem necessary. Maharashtra has been evolving their guidelines for the Mumbai International airport, which has one of the most considerable incoming traffic from outside of the country.

For instance, Mumbai residents arriving/transiting via any UAE airport have to compulsorily home quarantine for a week. Now, new testing rules have been introduced at CSMIA Mumbai, for all international arrivals, with effect from January 2, 2022.

a person wearing a face mask holding a test tube

All international arrivals from high risk/at-risk countries at Mumbai International will be Rapid Tested

As per a new circular with guidelines for arrival at Mumbai International Airport for international flights, effective January 02, 2022, but circulated only on January 04, 2022, the state has decided that all international arrivals from certain countries will be rapid RT-PCR tested.

The countries are:

  1. Countries in Europe including The United Kingdom
  2. South Africa
  3. Brazil
  4. Botswana
  5. China
  6. Ghana
  7. Mauritius
  8. New Zealand
  9. Zimbabwe
  10. Tanzania
  11. Hong Kong
  12. Israel
  13. United Arab Emirates

Here is the new process going forward.

  • All international passengers arriving on flights from these countries listed above into Mumbai Airport will take the Rapid RT PCR test.
    • If found positive in Rapid RT PCR, passengers will be asked to take a regular RT PCR test.
      • For those who test positive and are symptomatic:
        • They will be admitted to the Seven Hills Hospital for treatment free of cost.
        • If they would rather be in private care and are willing to pick the tab, they will be admitted to the Bombay Hospital/Breach Candy Hospital.
      • For those who test positive and are asymptomatic:
        • They will be taken to quarantine at the BKC/Kanjurmarg Jumbo Centre free of cost.
        • If they are willing to pay for it, they can also be transferred to one of the hotels listed below
    • If found negative in RT-PCR, the passenger will be allowed to go home and quarantine for seven days.

Here is the whole order reproduced for you. It is unclear how long would one be quarantined if they are positive, but I’d believe 15 days would be the quarantine for now. I am working on getting further clarification.

a close-up of a document a close-up of a document


You will need to prebook a test for arrival in Mumbai; details can be seen here about how to book. The Rapid PCR Test costs INR 1975, and the regular RT PCR test costs INR 500.

Here are the designated hotels for quarantine, although this list looks too small. For instance, that Svenska hotel is tiny!

a white sheet of paper with black text

The order is awfully quiet for now on the requirements applicable for those transferring from Mumbai to other destinations inside the state and outside the state.


If you arrive at Mumbai Airport, you will be required to conduct a Rapid PCR test on arrival compulsorily when arriving from certain countries. Those who go positive will be reassessed with a regular PCR test for a second time. If both tests come positive, these international passengers will either be hospitalised or put in quarantine, depending on their symptoms. Others will have to serve a 7-day home quarantine compulsorily.

What do you make of the new requirements for arrivals at Mumbai Airport? 

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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. Why do you need to check for Omicron,when it’s already endemic in India?
    Do a rapid antigen test ,if negative .
    allow passengers to go home.
    RT-PCR tests can be positive up to 90days ,

  2. Do you happen to know if Tourists have to quarantine when negative? I am thinking of doing a Visa run from CMB, but I am not on Indian passport, I am on dual US and Australian passports, thanks

    • If people are tested on the arrival then why the hell they are asked to do pre departure test. Government are just taking double amount for the passengers which is very upsetting and totally unfair.
      I still don’t get the government clear answer for people who are double vaccinated or fully vaccinated they still go through same procedure as non vaccinated passenger which is stupid and unfair for vaccination people which shows that taking vaccine is pointless.

      • @Dhrutika, the money is not going to the government, but the testing agencies. and if you have so much of an issue, I’d suggest you take it up with the authorities and stay home till things get better?

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