COVID-19 travel advisory: Negative RT-PCR reports now required to arrive in India

India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued the latest set of COVID-19 travel guidelines. All international arrivals from China, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Thailand and Japan will now have to produce a negative RT-PCR report from a test conducted 72 hours before the actual journey.

For all passengers flying in from these six COVID-19 high-risk countries, there’s a mandatory requirement for pre-departure RT-PCR testing, conducted 72 hours prior to boarding the flight.

This rule also applies to all transiting passengers through these six countries, irrespective of their originating countries. This is for entry to all Indian airports.

Also, the Ministry of Civil Aviation’s Air Suvidha portal has to be made operational for international passengers arriving in India from the six aforementioned countries with a provision to allow submission of a negative RT-PCR test report along with a self-declaration form.

Post-arrival random testing of 2 per cent travellers, irrespective of their port of departure, will continue. Several international passengers arriving in India have tested positive for COVID-19. The new travel guidelines have been put into practice from January 1, 2023.

Several countries all around the world have issued similar travel advisories for all international passengers arriving from China and other COVID-19 high-risk countries. In India, all states and union territories have been advised to take necessary precautions and to maintain COVID-19 appropriate behaviour, to keep the number of cases in check.