Arriving on an international flight to Mumbai Airport? Compulsory 14-day quarantine scrapped, except for 3 countries

The Government of India has put 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. In this respect, Maharashtra had put in place very tough requirements for those arriving at the Mumbai CSMIA airport. These have now been scrapped, and new guidelines issued, with comparatively lenient requirements.

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Arrivals at Mumbai International from 3 High-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 that for arrivals from high-risk countries only, will be subject to institutional quarantine. Also, high-risk passengers will include those who have been to these countries in the past 15 days.

High-Risk Air Passengers may be deplaned on priority and separate counters will be arranged by respective airport management authorities at all international airports of the State of Maharashtra for their screening and verification. Such all “High-Risk Air Passengers” shall have to undergo RT-PCR Test immediately on arrival at respective international airport and shall undergo mandatory 7-day “Institutional Quarantine” with second RT-PCR Test to be carried out on the 7th day. If any of the RT-PCR Test is found to be positive, then such a “High-Risk Air Passenger” shall be shifted to a Hospital with Covid Treatment facilities. In case the result of the RT-PCR Test of the 7th day comes negative, such “High-Risk Air Passenger” will have to undergo a further 7 days of Home Quarantine.

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

  1. South Africa
  2. Botswana
  3. Zimbabwe

Arrivals at Mumbai International from 27+ At-Risk countries will be home quarantined for seven days

Passengers from other countries in the at-risk countries will still have to undergo a compulsory on-arrival RT-PCR test. This can be a Rapid PCR or a regular RT-PCR test as described by us earlier, and they will have to undergo a 7-day home quarantine and re-test on day 8.

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

  1. Countries in Europe, including The United Kingdom
  2. Brazil
  3. China
  4. Mauritius
  5. New Zealand
  6. Singapore
  7. Hong Kong
  8. Israel

Update: Tanzania and Ghana added to the list of at-risk countries on December 6, 2021.

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 earlier on, they had 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.

Since this order supersedes the earlier one, it is going to be valid immediately. This means that all those landing in Mumbai will no longer be institutional quarantined on arrival for 7 days plus 7 days of home quarantine before being able to get out in the open. That would be only for people who are arriving from Zimbabwe, South Africa or Botswana or were there in the past 14 days.


Only if you arrive from South African nations essentially, you will now be compulsorily subject to a 7-day long institutional quarantine in Mumbai and repeated tested after arrival. After seven days of institutional quarantine, you will need to be under home quarantine for another seven days. For everyone else travelling from Europe, Singapore, Hong Kong etc, they will only need to test on arrival and stay at home for 7 days. For countries not on the list of the centre or the state, they can exit and go on about their life.

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. Hi I am travelling from Sharjah to mumbai on 14th Dec for 4days and my return ticket is on 20th Dec so do I have to quarantine? Please update I have important documents to sigh..
    Thank you!

  2. Hi,
    I agree to the point as mentioned in the circular issued by GoI. Why this cannot be issued that no passengers are allowed to enter India from high risk countries or countries at risk. This notification should be issued to such countries not to allow boarding passengers to India. The work load of India for treating and tackling such passengers and co passengers can easily be controlled. Otherwise full flight with passengers accompanied by passengers from high risk countries will have to undergo institution Quarantine, thus increasing the spread of virus at greater extent.

  3. Hello Ajay ji,
    Your effort, of clearing travellers doubt, is appreciated.
    I live in Mumbai n m flying to Dubai on 11th Dec n will return on 15th Dec….Will I have to go through compulsory RTPCR test once I land at Mumbai Airport? I m fully vaccinated.
    Kindly reply.
    Mukesh Tiwari

  4. Hi am travelling from Abu dhabi to mumbai on 24th dec only for 03 days and my retrun ticket is on 27th dec … do i need to quarantine ?

  5. My friends are arriving frim Paris on 19 dec and flying to Delhi on 21 dec

    Will quarantine affect their travel as they have a long journey ahead

    23 Dec they fly to Srinagar and 26 Dec to Chennai and back to mumbai on 1 Jan to connect their flight back to Paris.

    Kindly advise.

  6. Hello
    Traveling from USA but my layover is for 23 hours in Paris. Want to know if I stay in Airport hotel for that duration then should I be taking another test before boarding Paris to Mumbai flight ?
    Q:2 will my 72 hours get over before I reach Mumbai ? Please help.

    • @Hennaa, simple rule. If you leave the secure holding area of the airport and go past passport control, you will need to come into India and quarantine. If not, then you are good to go. I am not sure of your flight times so can’t comment on exact specifics

      • Sorry
        Forgot to mention 23 hrs stay will be in hotel inside the airport before passing the security. Not leaving the area until for my next flight. Will I be subject to quarantine ?? Thanks for yr guidance sir.

  7. Sir I am traveling from USA SFO to Hyderabad via Dubai on 11th of January 2022. Tell us it’s safe to travel.

  8. Hello
    I am coming on first January 2022 from Mauritius for medical treatment in Chennai hospital . My quarantine will be m Mumbai or Chennai ?

  9. Ajay –
    First – thank you for bringing clarity to a very confusing set of guidelines. Really appreciate your efforts.

    A question – I am traveling from the US but have a layover in Paris for a few hours. Will I be subject to home quarantine with the test on day 8? Or do I get to skip the quarantine since the flight originated in the US?

    Thanks again

    • It depends. If you are coming via UK, that is transit, you may be subject to 7-day home quarantine and 8th day re-test. If flying direct from U.S, they may not require quarantine.

  10. Pls help.are u sure no rtpcr if arriving from a country which is not listed…Bahrain… and i can exit n go home?
    I travel.tonight with 2 kids,no one has answers…pls help

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