In a bid to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect public health, the Government of India announced revised guidelines for international arrivals on Thursday, which will go into effect starting from January 1 2023.
According to the Ministry of Health of India’s revised guidelines, international travellers arriving in India from China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and Thailand from January 1, 2023, will be required to produce a negative COVID-19 test result from a test taken within 72 hours of their arrival.
Additionally, travellers will be required to upload their reports to the Air Suvidha portal prior to departure.
Revised Guidelines for International Arrivals
Effective from January 01 2023 (10.00 Hrs. IST), all international travellers arriving in India will have to follow the below-mentioned guidelines.
1. Planning for Travel
All travellers should preferably be fully vaccinated as per the approved primary schedule of vaccination against COVID-19 in their Country.
Additional requirements apply to passengers on all international flights from certain high-risk countries including China, Singapore, Hong Kong, the Republic of Korea, Thailand and Japan. Such travellers would be required to:
- Submit complete and factual information in the self-declaration form on the online Air Suvidha portal (www.newdelhiairport.in) before the scheduled travel, including the last 14 days’ travel details.
- Upload negative COVID-19 RT-PCR report on the Air Suvidha portal (The test should have been conducted within 72 hrs. prior to undertaking the journey).
- Each passenger shall also submit a declaration with respect to the authenticity of the report and will be liable for criminal prosecution if found otherwise.
- They should also give an undertaking on the portal or otherwise to the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India, through concerned airlines before they are allowed to undertake the journey that they would abide by the decision of the appropriate government authority for any post-arrival requirement including home/institutional quarantine/ self-health monitoring, as warranted.
It is worth noting here that Children under 12 years of age are exempted from both pre-departure and post-arrival random testing. However, if found symptomatic for COVID-19 on arrival or during the period of self-monitoring period, they shall undergo testing and be treated as per the laid down protocol.
2. During Travel
In-flight announcements about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic including precautionary measures to be followed (preferable use of masks and following physical distancing) shall be made on flights/travel and at all points of entry.
Any passenger having symptoms of COVID-19 during travel shall be isolated as per standard protocol i.e. the said passenger should be wearing a mask, isolated and segregated from other passengers in flight/travel and shifted to an isolation facility subsequently for follow-up treatment.
3. On Arrival
De-boarding should be done ensuring physical distancing and thermal screening should be done in respect of all the passengers by the health officials present at the point of entry.
The passengers found to be symptomatic during screening shall be immediately isolated and taken to a designated medical facility as per health protocol (as above).
The following protocol post arrival shall also be followed:
- A sub-section (2% of the total passengers* in the flight) shall undergo random post-arrival testing at the airport on arrival.
- Such travellers on 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 thereafter.
- If such travellers’ samples are tested positive, their samples should be further sent for genomic testing at the INSACOG laboratory network.
- They shall be treated/isolated as per the laid down standard protocol.
All travellers should self-monitor their health post arrival also shall report to their nearest health facility or call the National helpline number (1075)/ State Helpline Number in case they have any symptoms suggestive of COVID-19.