International passengers arriving in India, including the ones departing from the UAE, will no longer need to fill out the Air Suvidha form, the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Monday. The new rules come into effect Tuesday, November 22.
The new guidelines for international arrivals, issued by the ministry on November 21, also said passengers are no longer required to be mandatorily vaccinated, though it remains preferable.
Simultaneously, the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) said, in its review of guidelines for domestic and international flight operations, that the decision was made after a substantial improvement in the COVID-19 situation and increased vaccination rates in the country.
However, in-flight announcements about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, including preventive measures to be followed (preferably the use of masks and physical distancing), shall be made on flights and at all points of entry.
Any passenger having symptoms of COVID-19 during travel shall be isolated as per standard protocol. The passenger should be wearing a face mask, isolated and segregated from other passengers in flight and travel, and subsequently shifted to an isolation facility for follow-up treatment.
The announcement comes as a massive relief for international passengers travelling to India. The government of India introduced the Air Suvidha form to register details of inbound travellers, including PCR test results and vaccination details, amid the pandemic.