One of the new requirements, in view of the detection of the Omicron variant, to arrive in India from outside the country, is the requirement of a random testing. Airlines are supposed to pick a 2% of their passengers on board each flight, even if they are arriving from non-risk zones into India, and these passengers are supposed to undergo Covid-19 detection tests (RTPCR) on arrival at their first port in India. Passengers who receive this random already know on the aircraft inbound to India about their random testing requirement.
Initially, this random test was supposed to be paid for by the Indian civil aviation ministry. However, the onus was then moved to the passengers to pay for the test themselves. Clearly, not only are passengers supposed to pay in terms of their time, which is a delay for no fault of theirs, they are also supposed to cough out money.
Now, some airports have offered to pick the tab for their passengers, moneywise, at least. In a statement issued by Delhi Airport, it mentioned,
DIAL is also facilitating the RT-PCR tests of 2% international arriving passengers who are not from at-risk countries. With DIAL’s facilitation, these tests are being carried out free of cost with no burden on the passengers.
Similarly, Bengaluru airport has also decided to take on the cost for these passengers. It said,
As per the international travel guidelines, 2 percent of the passengers coming from countries that are not in the ‘at-risk’ list shall undergo random testing at the airport on arrival. The cost of random testing of such passengers will be borne by BIAL
There is no getting away from the 2% rule for international arrivals, honestly. However, airport operators have stepped in to soften the financial blow at least. Delhi and Bengaluru airports are two who have offered to get these tests done free of cost for the passengers.
Have you travelled through Delhi or Bengaluru airports recently and were picked for random testing? Let us know if any other airport also is offering to do the tests for free.
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