Arriving on international flight to Mumbai Airport? Be prepared for a compulsory 14-day quarantine (including from Europe)

Update: Here are the new requirements notified on December 1, 2021. These new requirements take over from those mentioned under.

The Government of India is putting in place 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 work on implementing a much stricter version if they so deem necessary.

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Arrivals at Mumbai International from At-Risk countries will be institutionally quarantined for seven days

As per a new circular with guidelines for arrival at Mumbai International Airport for international flights, the state has decided for arrivals from an at-risk country. The bolding is mine.

The international passengers arriving from At-Risk countries (declared by GOI from time to time) may be deplaned on priority and separate counters will be arranged by MIAL and Airport Authority for their checking. Such all passengers shall have to undergo mandatory 7-day institutional quarantine and RTPCR test to be carried out on days 2, 4 and 7 for these passengers. If any of the tests is found to be positive, then the passenger shall be shifted to a hospital. In case of all tests coming negative, the passenger will have to undergo a further 7 days of home quarantine.

Passengers from other countries except the at-risk countries will also have to undergo a compulsory on-arrival RT-PCR test. The bolding is mine.

Passengers from any other countries except the at-risk countries will have to compulsorily undergo RTPCR test at the airport on arrival and on being found negative, will have to undergo 14 days of home quarantine. If found positive, they will be shifted to the hospital.

As per the instructions, passengers with connecting flights can only board them if they get a negative test for their on-arrival RT-PCR report. If such a passenger is taking a connecting flight to an airport in Maharashtra, passengers shall be subjected to quarantine rules as if they are arriving on an international flight.

Domestic Travel Guidelines into Mumbai and other Maharashtra airports have also changed. It would be good to read these if you are planning an arrival into a Maharashtra airport.

For reference, here are the at-risk countries as of November 30, 2021:

  1. Countries in Europe, including The United Kingdom
  2. South Africa
  3. Brazil
  4. Botswana
  5. China
  6. Mauritius
  7. New Zealand
  8. Zimbabwe
  9. Singapore
  10. Hong Kong
  11. Israel

Here are the full rules for your reference. Mumbai’s MCGM has arranged an adequate number of beds ready for institutional quarantine (self-paid hotels / free MCGM facility)

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In a statement issued by Mumbai Airport, they have included the following measures that are being undertaken for the testing to be executed swiftly for all passengers.

  • Arriving passengers from high-risk countries will be segregated from passengers arriving from other countries.
  • Adequate RT-PCR testing facility in international arrivals in the form of 48 registration counters & 40 sampling booths.
  • Four laboratories for RT-PCR testing in international arrivals are as under:
    • Lifenity
    • Suburban Diagnostics
    • Acu-MDx (Mylabs)
    • Northstar
  • In addition to normal RT-PCR, 30 Rapid PCR machines are available for the passengers having connecting onward flights with short connecting time. This facility will be upscaled further if required.
  • For passengers who have not done their pre-booking of the RT-PCR test online, QR codes have been displayed at various locations in the arrival corridor. Physical forms for RT-PCR registration are also made available to passengers on board with the help of airlines. They can fill before disembarking from flight & thus avoid queuing for the registration on arrival.
  • A large sitting area for the passengers awaiting their RT-PCR results has been activated with Amenities like washrooms, F& B.
  • CSMIA has also sensitised relevant stakeholders on the new guidelines & the added facilities for passengers convenience.

As per a new update, this order will now be valid from 11:59 pm on December 2, 2021, onwards. This means that all those landing in Mumbai after 11:59 pm on December 2, 2021, will have to be subject to compulsory institutional quarantine on arrival for 7 days plus 7 days of home quarantine before being able to get out in the open. Those arriving by December 2, 2021, will be able to exit the airport by doing a test on arrival and leave the airport for a 7-day home quarantine here on.

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Suppose you are arriving from Europe, Singapore, Hong Kong or South African nations essentially. In that case, you will now be compulsorily subject to a 7-day long institutional quarantine in Mumbai and repeatedly tested after arrival. After seven days of institutional quarantine, they will need to be under home quarantine for another seven days. For everyone else, a 14-day home quarantine is mandated going forward, even if they are arriving from countries not on the at-risk list, such as perhaps from the USA or UAE.

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. @ Ajay – mumbai civic body has issues very strict home quarantine rules for international travellers from @ risk countries including Europe.
    Does this strict home quarantine also affect United States Travelers with a connection through Europe (not leaving airport) going to mumbai. Any guidance would be greatfully appreciated

    • @Nick, per GoI guidelines, transit through those airports (as long as not leaving airport and staying airside) should not count. But Maharashtra can choose to be stricter and it is their prerogative. Not that I hear this is the plan.

  2. As per the new circular by BMC Commissioner IS Chahal, the mandatory quarantine has been removed for the state of Maharashtra. Only if you are coming from “Ultra Risk” countries South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Lasotho, Zimbabwe and Eswatini – then mandatory institutional (hotel) quarantine for 7 days is required.
    For domestic travel – coming into Maharashtra – double vaccination will do. No need to do RT-PCR test within 48hrs. of departure. If not double vaccinated, then RT-PCR test within 72hrs. of departure.

  3. I’m coming from USA so what we have to do ? we have to also wait for RT PCR TEST in Mumbai air port . we have qatar airlines
    And we have to quarantine for 14 day

  4. Hi Ajay,

    thanks for the details here. I would be landing in Mumbai on the afternoon of 3rd on a flight from Switzerland (i.e. Europe) at Terminal 2 and would have a connecting flight to Indore, on a separate 2nd ticket from Terminal 2. Now I have two questions and wanted to check if you have any clarity here:

    1) Can i safely assume that with a negative RTPCR at the airport I would be able to board the flight to Indore without any other hiccup? I am looking at point E in the original directive but am worried if they would look at this for travels from at risk countries.

    2) Again as per pt. E, i am assuming that it would be responsibility of Indigo (my connecting flight carrier) to intimate the MP state authorities about my travel. Am i reading this correctly?


  5. Hello,

    Thanks for summarising all the updates in one location, this is greatly helpful.

    In the MH Govt order, w.r.t passengers who have to take an onward domestic connection after an International Arrival (from a ‘at risk country), it says you have to do the RT-PCR, wait for the negative result and only then allowed to proceed further. But it also mentions domestic connections ‘without exiting the airport’.

    I have an onward domestic connection that is from T1 (arriving from Europe, so at risk country, and separate PNR). So would that mean I will not be able to take my domestic connection but go for institutional quarantine in Mumbai?

  6. Every country specially europe had free facilities for people for pcr test ,swap test .
    But we indians doesn’t care about the virus ,we dont care about the people , the only thing we care is about money. If you make this kind of rules , then why dont you make it free of charge ,if you really think good about the people ……this is the reason our economy and our standards are lowest among all countries…I have been atleast 5 airports of differnt countries last 1 year , and I got free test on airport , and results I got at my place…
    So please I request stop thinking ,start doing .
    Not all passengers coming out of the airports are full of dollars in their pocket ..
    And even the behaviour of the staff on the airport who are making the test and also who are allocating , are really rude. They act like we are in the jail. I think before everything they have to learn little bit of manners . It’s more to say , but I know it’s no use , because thousands of people write everyday, but it is flushed within seconds ….
    I hope someday , there will be a difference

  7. This is racketeering! Nothing has changed! EU countries and UK had high number of cases even before Omnicron was discovered. WHO is assisting the pharma to make billions and the corrupt Indian state government officials are taking advantage of the situation to line their pockets. This is theft! In the process killing the economy!

  8. Stupid decision with brute force. Will find reciprocation from other countries. The MVA govt has put the entire country to shame.

    • Will other countries prevent the spread? We have already seen what happens with loosened strings. People dont follow rules specially returning Indians. They dont sit at home unlike the countries abroad where they risk being deported.

  9. @Ajay, could you please comment on the transiting rule possibly after Dec1st when the implementation of this new rule starts. arrivals from USA but transit through UK would still be considered arrival from UK by Mumbai airport. Thank you so much

  10. Crazy. So, if you arriving from US on Lufthansa via Frankfurt to Mumbai, does that still count as at risk country even if you are just transiting in Frankfurt?

    Thank you!

    • @Sam, I have no clarity on that. However, I’d assume they would err on the side of caution and count them in the “risk country” set rather than out of it.

    • What about point G )which mentions all domestic travelers have to carry RT pcr of 48 hours irrespective of status of vaccinations?

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