Effective February 14, 2022, India largely removes pre & post arrival testing and quarantine requirement on International Arrivals into India (UAE / China vaccinated Excluded)

Given the emergence of the new variant, India had implemented new arrival rules on December 1, 2021. India had instituted new home quarantine requirements earlier in January 2022. Now, they are making significant concessions. The new rules are effective February 14, 2022, 00:01 Hours IST and here are the details.

India removes pre-arrival testing for many countries.

Before arriving in India, everyone, citizen or visitor, must fill-up the Air Suvidha form. Till so far, one of the asks was for an RT-PCR negative report within 72 hours of boarding the plane. This requirement has been changed in the new requirements notified on February 10, 2022.

Effective February 14, 2022 (0001 Hours), you need to

Upload a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR report (The test should have been conducted within 72 hrs prior to undertaking the journey)

or

Certificate of completing full primary vaccination schedule of COVID-19 vaccination.

Only the following countries’ full primary vaccination schedule will be valid (boosters not required). The list will evolve but refer to the list. As of February 10, 2022, the list is as follows. :

  1. Albania
  2. Andorra
  3. Angola
  4. Antigua & Barbuda
  5. Australia
  6. Austria
  7. Azerbaijan
  8. Bangladesh
  9. Bahrain
  10. Belarus
  11. Botswana
  12. Bulgaria
  13. Canada
  14. Cambodia
  15. Chile
  16. Columbia
  17. Commonwealth of Dominica
  18. Costa Rica
  19. Croatia
  20. Cuba
  21. Cyprus
  22. Denmark
  23. Estonia
  24. Finland
  25. Georgia
  26. Grenada
  27. Guatemala
  28. Guyana
  29. Hong Kong
  30. Hungary
  31. Iceland
  32. Iran
  33. Ireland
  34. Israel
  35. Kazakhstan
  36. Kyrgyzstan
  37. Latvia
  38. Lebanon
  39. Liechtenstein
  40. Malaysia
  41. Maldives
  42. Mali
  43. Mauritius
  44. Mexico
  45. Moldova
  46. Mongolia
  47. Myanmar
  48. Namibia
  49. Nepal
  50. New Zealand
  51. Netherlands
  52. Nicaragua
  53. North Macedonia
  54. Oman
  55. Paraguay
  56. Panama
  57. Portugal
  58. Philippines
  59. Qatar
  60. Romania
  61. San Marino
  62. Saudi Arabia
  63. Serbia
  64. Sierra Leone
  65. Singapore
  66. Slovak Republic
  67. St. Kitts and Nevispage2image1065190480 page2image1065190768 page2image1065191056 page2image1065191344
  68. Slovenia
  69. Spain
  70. Sri Lanka
  71. State of Palestine
  72. Sweden
  73. Switzerland
  74. Thailand
  75. The United Kingdom
  76. Trinidad & Tobago
  77. Turkey
  78. Ukraine
  79. United States of America
  80. Venezuela
  81. Vietnam
  82. Zimbabwe

India removes on-arrival testing, apart from 2% random testing.

India had mandated that all travellers arriving in India, regardless of their Covid-19 vaccination status, from countries on the at-risk list, undergo post-arrival Covid-19 testing on arrival in India. Now, new post-arrival requirements only read as follows:

Thermal screening would be carried out in respect of all the passengers by the health officials present at the airport. The self-declaration form filled online shall be shown to the airport health staff.

The passengers found to be symptomatic during screening shall be immediately isolated and taken to medical facility as per health protocol. If tested positive, their contacts shall be identified and managed as per laid down protocol.

However, the Government of India has continued to mandate that

  1. A sub-section (2% of the total passengers in the flight) shall undergo random post- arrival testing at the airport on arrival.
  2. Such travellers in each flight shall be identified by the concerned airlines (preferably from different countries). They will submit the samples and shall be allowed to leave the airport.

There is a long list of approved tests to prove you are infected or not, and apart from RT-PCR, rapid PCR tests are also going to be accepted. Remember, they are going to be much more expensive, though.

Quarantine advisory discontinued

The 7-days home quarantine advisory has also been replaced with “All travellers will self-monitor their health for the next 14 days of arrival.”, but they can move around in public.

Bottomline

Effectively, India has discontinued pre/post-arrival testing and quarantine requirements and has opened up. Only 2% random testing remains, which does not bar passengers from leaving the airport, unlike earlier.

What do you make of this new requirement for arriving in India?


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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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Comments

  1. I am still confused whether i have to get RT-PCR test done within 72 hours of travel date & upload the report as per Air Suvidha Form. I am travelling from USA to india on 28.02.2022.
    I have taken moderne vaccination- 2 doses in Nov._Dec. 2021.
    I have no symptoms if covid.

  2. Thanks a lot Ajay for this wonderful news. I am Swiss and I shall FINALLY be allowed to travel to India without stressing tests and meet my Indian friends again! I am so happy!!

  3. Strangely India is not on the list of countries of which they accept vaccine certs. I presume that’s an error. France Germany too? Stupid

  4. Hello,
    1st up thanks for your update. I truly appreciate it.
    Myself, my wife and 10 year old daughter are travelling to dubai on 14 feb and returning on 23rd feb-24 feb early morning. We both are fully vaccinated with covishield and upon return , do we have to take the 72 hrs rt pcr test in UAE or vaccination certificate is enough for boarding? Coz this update doesnt clarify whether UAE citizens should do rt pcr test or all travellers returning from UAE to India.
    Thanks in advance.

  5. This is wonderful news. Now eagerly awaiting flights and either e visas for UK or allowing use of existing five year paper visas which have been suspended for years ! One hurdle down two to go !

  6. Vaccination doesn’t stop the spread, and is largely ineffective against omicron. Masks do nothing, and the best thing is being outdoors, in the sun, and being healthy.

    Why aren’t we following the science after 2 years?

    Why does fear still trump facts?

      • According to an Us university research, the effectiveness of masks is less than 2%. The only reason the governments want people to wear masks is to always remember them the terror and to avoid people realizing that everything is normal. It’s not medical, it’s psychological.

  7. Well I arrive on the 14th and I know praying works!!
    I am so excited. I have been having a lot of anxiety about having to quarantine. I am fully vaccinated and boosted. And I am extremely vigilant with masks and social distancing in my own country. Thanks to the Indian government for making this choice in time for my arrival back to the country of my heart India!

    • I will be glad when us
      English can fly – currently no
      Tourist flights our paper visas suspended and not allowed to get e visas so I hope this changes soon. I am due to go next month – biting fingernails.

  8. Stupid rule of excluding travelers from UAE. UAE is one of the most vaccinated countries in the world and a good population has taken 3-4 jabs.

    Hope they see sense..

    • @Bharat, most probably done in retaliation to the rule which requires India-UAE boardings to do an expensive test pre-departure. Shots fired!

      • What about India still doing the Vande Bharat scam, not allowing EK and EY to run full capacity? Insane ticket prices to India Ex-Dubai/Abu Dhabi. The 6 Hour Rapid PCR is a money making racket and Indian labs are making a killing for EX-Ind-UAE flights. Nevertheless, PCRs in UAE cost a paltry sum here, so not a big deal, but not recognising vaccine certificates issued by UAE (where now a big amount of expat population has been Pfizered plus boosted) is a new low by our MoCA. I mean an Indian with Covisheild can take a flight to India from UAE with no test, but someone with Pfizer has to take a test! Can’t wait for UAE to slap similar bans on Indians with Covishield and Covaxin.

        • @Bharat, your grouse is with the government. Who am I to offer an opinion. Even France, Japan and China are excluded. Any thoughts about that? India successfully used armtwisting to get UK to wake up when they put AZ on the list and kept Covishield off the list. Who knows if a similar thing is at play. As for UAE, How much tougher can they get without harming their own market (Indians)?

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