Travelling To India? Must Check The latest SOPs For International Arrivals!


The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt of India on Wednesday issued new guidelines for all international travellers, particularly at-risk travellers to India through a multi-pronged strategy of thermal screening and testing.

“To reduce the risk of importation of mutant strains of SARS-CoV-2, SOP for international passengers arriving in India have been updated; new SOP will be in effect on 23:59 hrs on 22nd Feb”: Ministry of Civil Aviation


Here are the complete guidelines for all international arrivals in India!

For all travellers except those coming through flights originating from UK, Europe & Middle East

1. Planning for Travel

  • All travellers to submit self-declaration form online on Air Suvidha Portal before the scheduled travel.
  • Upload a negative RT-PCR report, conducted within 72 hrs prior to undertaking the journey & also submit a declaration with respect to the authenticity of the report.
  • Give an undertaking on the Air Suvidha Portal or to the Ministry of Civil Aviation through concerned airlines before the journey, to abide by the decision of the concerned authority to undergo home quarantine/ self-monitoring of health for 14 days.
  • Arrival in India without negative report to be allowed only for those traveling in the exigency of death in the family.
  • To seek such exemption travellers shall apply to the online portal (www.newdelhiairportin) at least 72 hrs before boarding.
  • The decision taken by the govt as communicated on the online portal will be final.

2. Before Boarding

  • Do’s & Don’ts to be provided along with ticket to travellers by the airlines/agencies concerned
    Boarding to be allowed only to those passengers who have filled in the Self Declaration Form online & uploaded the negative RT-PCR test report.
  • Only asymptomatic travellers will be allowed to board the flight after thermal screening.
  • All passengers to be advised to download Aarogya Setu app.
  • Suitable precautionary measures such as environmental sanitation & disinfection to be ensured at the airports.
  • During boarding all, physical distancing to be ensured.

3. During Travel

  • Suitable announcement about COVID-19 including precautionary measures to be made at airports and in flights and during transit.
  • While on board required precautions such as wearing of masks, respiratory hygiene, hand hygiene etc. to be observed by airline staff, crew & all passengers.

4. On Arrival

  • Deboarding to be done ensuring physical distancing.
  • Thermal screening of all the passengers at the airport. The self-declaration form filled online to be shown to the airport health staff.
  • Passengers found to be symptomatic during screening to be immediately isolated and tak-to medical facility as per health protocol.
  • Passengers who have been exempted for pre-arrival RT-PCR testing will show the same to the respective State counters.
    • They will be prioritized for sample collection in the designated area, samples collected and permitted to exit the airport.
    • They shall monitor their health for 14 days (subject to negative test report of the sample taken at the Airport).
  • Passengers who have uploaded RT-PCR negative certificates online to be allowed to leave the airport/take transit flights and will be required to undertake self-monitoring of their health for 14 days.
  • They will also be provided the list of the National & State level surveillance officers & the respective call centre numbers, in case they develop symptoms any time during the quarantine or self-monitoring of their health.

International Travellers Arriving At Seaports/Land Ports

  • Travellers arriving through seaports/land ports to undergo the same protocol, except that facility for online registration is not available for such passengers currently.
  • Travellers to submit the self-declaration form to the concerned authorities of the Government of India at seaports/land ports on arrival.

For all travellers coming/transiting through flights originating from UK, Europe & Middle East

  • All travellers to submit Self-Declaration Form (SDF) online at www.newdelhiairportin before the scheduled travel and will be required to declare their travel history of past 14 days)
  • While filling SDF, passengers need to select:
    • Whether they plan to disembark at the arrival airport or take further flights to reach their final destination in India.
    • The passengers will need to display the transit receipt SDF to State authority/Govt officials at the airport for segregation
  • All the passengers to carry a negative RT-PCR report, conducted within 72 hours prior to undertaking the journey.
  • Airlines to allow boarding only to those passengers who have filled in the SDF online & uploaded the negative RT-PCR test report.
  • Travellers will be segregated in-flight or while disembarking to facilitate the authorities to follow the due protocol.
  • Relevant information to be prominently displayed in the arrival area and waiting area of the airports of arrival.
  • All travellers subjected to self-paid confirmatory molecular tests on arrival a the Indian airports concerned (port of entry).
  • Adequate arrangements to be provided for passengers at the airport for confirmatory molecular test & test results duly following effective isolation.
  • Streamlined systems at the concerned airports for testing to ensure seamless sampling, testing & waiting arrangements.
  • Airports can provide options for online booking of the confirmatory molecular test, offline booking, and digital payment facilities to be promoted.
  • Sample collection cum waiting lounge to follow all sanitization & physical distancing related guidelines issued by Health Ministry.
  • Concerned States/UM to set up help desks at concerned airports to facilitate the implementation of the SOP.
  • Transit travellers who tested negative, to be allowed to take their connecting flights and to remain home quarantine for 7 days & regularly followed up by the concerned State/District IDSP.
    • To be tested after 7 days and if found negative will be released from quarantine.
    • All those tested positive to be isolated in an institutional isolation facility.
  • Travellers to give a sample at the designated area and exit airport only after confirmation of negative test report.
  • All other travellers from Europe & Middle East (other than those from Brazil, South Africa & UK) to give samples at the designated area & exit the airport.
    • If the report is negative, to be advised to self-monitor their health for 14 days.
    • If the test report is positive, they will undergo treatment as per standard health protocol.

Travellers from Brazil, South Africa and the UK, testing positive

  • To be isolated in an institutional isolation facility at an isolation unit coordinated by the respective State Health Authorities
    • If the report of the sequencing is consistent with the current SARS-CoV-2 virus genome, the ongoing treatment protocol including home isolation/treatment at the facility level as per case severity may be followed.
    • If the genomic sequencing indicates the presence of a new variant of SARS-CoV-2, then the patient will continue to remain in a separate isolation unit & necessary treatment as per the existing protocol will be given.
    • The patient shall be tested on the 14th day, after having tested positive & will be kept in the isolation facility till his sample is tested negative.
  • Information regarding any passenger covered within the scope of this SOP, who has moved to another State will be immediately notified to the concerned State Health Authority.
    • If any passenger is not traceable while being followed up should be immediately notified to the Central Surveillance Unit of IDSP by the DSO (District Surveillance Officer)
  • State-wise passenger manifest of the flights originating from Europe & the Middle East and landing at Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad & Chennai airports to be conveyed by the Bureau of Immigration to State Govt/I DSP.
    • This data would be provided to the surveillance teams & the data will be supplemented by the online Self-Declaration Forms.
  • All the contacts of travellers who test positive to be subjected to institutional quarantine & would be tested on the 7th day (or early if they develop symptoms).
    • Contacts testing positive shall undergo treatment as per standard health protocol.

All International Travellers on Short Stay

International travellers on a short stay (less than 14 days) and who have tested negative and remain symptom-free to undergo all the procedures of COVID testings and shall be permitted to leave India under proper intimation to their District/State health authorities, subject to fulfilling the requirement of the airlines & destination country.

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Also Read: Karnataka To Require Negative Covid-19 Test Report From People Arriving From Maharashtra: Full SOPs Here