Repatriation flights from UAE to India
India announced new guidelines for international arrivals on Thursday Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Passengers flying to India without a COVID-19 RT-PCR negative certificate and seeking exemption from institutional quarantine may now undergo the RT-PCR test on arrival at the airport, according to new guidelines issued by Indian Government.

The new guidelines for international arrivals were announced by India's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Thursday (November 5), and supersedes the requirements stipulated on August 2.

The guidelines come in the wake of the ministry doing away with the need for quarantine, whether institutional or home, in cases that qualify, and provided passengers submit a COVID-19 negative certificate of the RT-PCR test conducted within 72 hours of embarking on their journey.


“All travelers should submit self-declaration form on the online portal ( at least 72 hours before the scheduled travel or physically after arrival at the respective health counters,” the guidelines state.

“Travelers may also seek exemption from institutional quarantine by submitting a negative RT-PCR test report. This test should have been conducted within 72 hrs prior to undertaking the journey. The test report should be uploaded on the portal for consideration.

"Each passenger shall also submit a declaration with respect to authenticity of the report and will be liable for criminal prosecution, if found otherwise. The test report could also be produced upon arrival at the point of entry airport in India.

“International passengers arriving without an RT-PCR negative certificate and wishing to seek exemption from institutional quarantine may also avail the facility available at the airports to undergo RT-PCR testing (where such provisions exist).”

All such passengers opting for exemption from institutional quarantine will have to self-monitor their health and will be exempted from quarantine.

However, the provisions make it clear that, “International passengers arriving without RT-PCR negative certificate and not opting for RT PCR test at airport (if facility is available) /arriving at an airport where testing facility is not available, will have to undergo mandatory seven days’ institutional quarantine and seven days’ home quarantine.”

What you need to know:

Before boarding

Make sure you get the list of dos and don’ts from the airlines/agencies concerned.

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At the time of flying, adhere to all precautionary measures like wearing masks, maintaining social distance etc.

During travel

Travellers who have not filled in self-declaration form on the portal should fill the same in duplicate on the flight, a copy of which will be given to health and immigration officials at the airport.

Suitable announcement about COVID-19, including precautionary measures to be followed, will be made at airports and in flights and during transit.

While on board the flight, required precautions such as wearing of masks, environmental hygiene, respiratory hygiene, hand hygiene etc. are to be observed.

On arrival

Deboarding should be done ensuring physical distancing.

Thermal screening will be carried out for all passengers at the airport. The self-declaration form filled online should be shown (or a copy of physical self-declaration form to be submitted) to the airport health staff.

Passengers found to be symptomatic during screening shall be immediately isolated and taken to medical facility as per health protocol.

Post thermal screening, passengers who have been exempted from institutional quarantine (decision as indicated on the online portal in advance) will show the same to the respective state counters on their cell phones/other mode before being allowed home quarantine for 14 days.

Post thermal screening, passengers who have RT-PCR negative certificates already with them will be exempt from quarantine and allowed to leave and undertake self-monitoring of their health for 14 days.

All such passengers will also be provided the list of the national and state level surveillance officers and the respective call centre numbers, so as to inform state/national Call Centre in case they develop symptoms at any time during the quarantine or self-monitoring.

Remaining passengers shall be taken to suitable institutional quarantine facilities, to be arranged by the respective governments to undergo mandatory seven days’ institutional quarantine and seven days’ home quarantine.

These passengers shall be kept under institutional quarantine for a minimum period of seven days, tested as per ICMR protocol. If they are assessed as asymptomatic/pre-symptomatic/very mild cases, they will be allowed home isolation or isolated in the COVID-19 Care Centre (both public & private facilities) as appropriate. Those having mild/ moderate/severe symptoms will be admitted to dedicated COVID-19 health facilities. If found negative, they shall be advised to self-monitor their health for additional seven days.