NEW DELHI: In the context of the spread of mutant variants of SARS-CoV-2 in many countries, the Ministry of Civil Aviation in consultation with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued new guidelines for international arrivals. These guidelines will supersede all guidelines issued on the subject since 2nd August 2020. This Standard Operating Procedure shall be valid w.e.f. 22nd February 2021 (23.59 Hrs IST) till further orders.
The updated guidelines are available at the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare websites.
Part A – For all international travelers except travelers coming through flights originating from United Kingdom, Europe, and the Middle East
A.1. Planning for Travel
i. All travelers should (i) submit a self-declaration form on the online Air Suvidha portal (www.newdelhiairport.in) before the scheduled travel (ii) upload a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR report. This test should have been conducted within 72 hrs prior to undertaking the journey. Each passenger shall also submit a declaration with respect to the authenticity of the report and will be liable for criminal prosecution if found otherwise.
ii. They should also give an undertaking on the portal or otherwise to Ministry of Civil Aviation, Govt. of India, through concerned airlines before they are allowed to undertake the journey that they would abide by the decision of the appropriate government authority to undergo home quarantine/ self-monitoring of their health for 14 days, or as warranted.
iii. Arrival in India without a negative report shall be allowed only for those traveling to India in the exigency of death in the family.
iv. If they wish to seek such exemption under para (iii) above, they shall apply to the online portal (www.newdelhiairport.in) at least 72 hours before boarding. The decision taken by the government as communicated on the online portal will be final.
A.2. Before Boarding
v. Do’s and Don’ts shall be provided along with ticket to the travellers by the airlines/agencies concerned.
vi. Airlines to allow boarding only those passengers who have filled in the Self Declaration Form on the Air Suvidha portal and uploaded the negative RT-PCR test report.
vii. At the time of boarding the flight, only asymptomatic travellers will be allowed to board after thermal screening.
viii. All passengers shall be advised to download Aarogya Setu app on their mobile devices.
ix. Suitable precautionary measures such as environmental sanitation and disinfection shall be ensured at the airports.
x. During boarding all possible measures to ensure physical distancing are to be ensured.
A.3. During Travel
xi. Suitable announcement about COVID-19 including precautionary measures to be followed shall be made at airports and in flights and during transit.
xii. While on board the flight, required precautions such as wearing of masks, environmental hygiene, respiratory hygiene, hand hygiene etc. are to be observed by airline staff, crew and all passengers.
A.4. On arrival
xiii. Deboarding should be done ensuring physical distancing.
xiv. Thermal screening would be carried out in respect of all the passengers by the health officials present at the airport. The self-declaration form filled online shall be shown to the airport health staff.
xv. The passengers found to be symptomatic during screening shall be immediately isolated and taken to medical facility as per health protocol.
xvi. The passengers who have been exempted for pre-arrival RT-PCR testing [para (iii) and (iv) of A.1 above] (as approved and indicated on the online portal in advance) will show the same to the respective State counters. They will be prioritized for sample collection in the designated area, samples collected and permitted to exit the airport. They shall monitor their health for 14 days (subject to negative test reports of the sample taken at the Airport that would be conveyed to such travelers by the concerned State authorities/airport operators).
xvii. All other passengers who have uploaded RT-PCR negative certificates on Air Suvidha portal shall be allowed to leave the airport/ take transit flights and will be required to undertake self-monitoring of their health for 14 days.
xviii. 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 Centres in case they develop symptoms at any time during the quarantine or self-monitoring of their health.
International travellers arriving at seaports/land ports
xix. International travelers arriving through seaports/land ports will also have to undergo the same protocol as above, except that facility for online registration is not available for such passengers currently.
xx. Such travellers shall submit the self-declaration form to the concerned authorities of Government of India at seaports/land ports on arrival.
Part B – For all international travelers coming/transiting through flights originating from United Kingdom, Europe, and the Middle East
All the clauses as above (part A) shall be applicable to such travelers coming/transiting from flights originating in United Kingdom, Europe, and the Middle East except for clauses on testing, quarantine, and isolation as specified below:
All international travelers coming/transiting from flights originating from United Kingdom, Europe, and the Middle East as described in the scope above should submit the Self-Declaration Form (SDF) for COVID on the online Air Suvidha portal (www.newdelhiairport.in) before the scheduled travel and will be required to declare their travel history (of past 14 days).
i. While filling SDF, apart from providing all other information required in the SDF, passengers need to select:
ii. Keeping in mind the testing requirements for passengers from UK, Brazil, and South Africa, who have to take connecting flights, airlines should keep the passengers informed about the need for the transit time of a minimum of 6-8 hours at the entry airport (in India) while booking the tickets for connecting flights.
iii. All the passengers arriving from United Kingdom, Europe, and the Middle East shall be carrying a negative RT-PCR Test report for which test should have been conducted within 72 hours prior to undertaking the journey. The same also shall be uploaded on the online portal (www.newdelhiairport.in).
International Travellers on short stay
* Contacts of the suspect case are the co-passengers seated in the same row, 3 rows in front and 3 rows behind along with identified Cabin Crew. Also, all the community contacts of those travellers who have tested positive (during the home quarantine period) would be subjected to institutional quarantine in separate Quarantine Centers for 14 days and tested as per ICMR protocol.
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