India travel guidelines, February 18: The Central government of India has issued new guidelines for the international visitors coming into the country as the new mutant covid strains have been arriving in India from other countries. These guidelines will be effective from Monday night. As the SARS-CoV-2 emerging from many countries has arrived in the country, the latest Standard Operating Procedures have come as even.

These will be applicable to the international travellers who are either coming to or are transiting through flights originating from countries like the UK, Europe, and the Middle East. As of the flight suspension scenario, the regular commercial flights remains suspended till February 28 and the only way to travel abroad is through air bubbles arrangements or flights going through Vande Bharat.

1. These guidelines are issued by the Civil Aviation Ministry of India and it states that all international travellers, excluding the ones coming from the UK, Europe, and the Middle East originated flights, will have to submit a self-declaration form (available on Air Suvidha portal) before their scheduled travel.

2. The guidelines quotes, ” International passengers will also have to upload a negative Covid-19 RT-PCR report with exception of those travelling to India in the exigency of death in the family. For seeking exemption, the travelling entity will have to apply to the online portal at least 72 hours before boarding.

The test should have been conducted within 72 hours prior to the journey and each passenger will also have to submit a declaration with respect to the authenticity of the report.”

3. The protocols will be the same for the people who are travelling via the land ports or seaports. But at the same time, the online registrations are, currently, not be available for such travellers as of now.

4. After the thermal screening, the new guidelines would only allow the asymptomatic travellers on-board at the time of flight boarding.

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5. “All such clauses shall be applicable to travellers coming/transiting from flights originating in the UK, Europe and the Middle East except for clauses on testing, quarantine and isolation,” claimes the guidelines.

6. As for the passengers taking connecting flights, the ministry specifies, “Airlines should keep the passengers informed about the need for transit time of a minimum 6-8 hours at the entry airport (in India) for the required testing and other procedures while booking the tickets for connecting flights.”

7. Further, the airlines must identify the international passengers via the UK, Brazil and South Africa (during the past 14 days) and they must “segregate them in-flight or while disembarking to facilitate the authorities to follow the due protocol in respect of these travellers.”

8. All travellers arriving from/transiting through flights originating in the United Kingdom, Europe or the Middle East shall be mandatorily subjected to self-paid confirmatory molecular tests on arrival at the Indian airports concerned (port of entry).

9. The state-wise passenger manifest of the flights originating from Europe and the Middle East and landing at Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai airports in India for the said period shall be conveyed by the Bureau of Immigration to State Government/Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme.

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

(With inputs from PTI)



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