Fully vaccinated travellers coming from countries which have reciprocal arrangements for mutual acceptance of WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccines with India shall be allowed to leave the airport and don’t need to undergo home quarantine and testing from October 25, according to the revised guidelines for international arrivals released on Wednesday.
They will, however, have to produce a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR report.
If partially or not vaccinated, the travellers need to undertake measures which include post-arrival COVID-19 test at the point of arrival after which they will be allowed to leave the airport, home quarantine for seven days, re-test on the eighth day and if negative, further self monitor their health for next seven days.
These guidelines for international arrivals supersede of all guidelines issued on the subject on and after February 17, 2021, the Union health ministry said.
“The global trajectory of COVID-19 pandemic continues to decline with certain regional variations. The need to monitor the continuously changing nature of virus and evolution of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs) must still remain in focus. The existing guidelines for international arrivals in India have been formulated taking a risk-based approach.
“In view increasing vaccination coverage across the globe and the changing nature of the pandemic, the existing guidelines for international arrivals in India have been reviewed,” the ministry said.
The new document provides protocols to be complied with international travellers as well those to be followed by airlines, points of entry (airports, seaports and land border) for risk profiling of passengers.
This standard operating procedure shall be valid from October 25. Based on the risk assessment, this shall be reviewed from time to time, the ministry said.
According to the ministry, India has signed agreements for mutual recognition of nationally or WHO recognised COVID-19 vaccines with 11 countries – the UK, France, Germany, Nepal, Belarus, Lebanon, Armenia, Ukraine, Belgium, Hungary and Serbia.
Travellers coming from these countries who are fully vaccinated and 15 days have elapsed since completion of COVID-19 vaccination schedule, they shall be allowed to leave the airport and shall self monitor their health for 14 days post arrival, according to the revised guidelines.
If traveller is coming from a country excluding those with whom India has reciprocal arrangement, they would be required to undergo the measures such as submission of sample for post-arrival COVID-19 test at the point of arrival after which they will be allowed to leave the airport, home quarantine for seven days, re-test on the eighth day of arrival in India and if negative, further selfmonitor of their health for next seven days, irrespective of their COVID-19 vaccination status.
The list of countries from where travellers would need to follow additional measures on arrival in India, including post-arrival testing (countries at-risk) are South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand Zimbabwe and countries in Europe including the UK.
Travellers under home quarantine or self-health monitoring, if develop signs and symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 or test positive for COVID-19 on re-testing, they will immediately selfisolate and report to their nearest health facility or call national helpline number (1075) or state helpline number.