The New COVID-19 Rules For Passengers Travelling To India


Travelling to India in the coming weeks?

In light of an increasing number of COVID cases around the world, airlines are imposing new regulations to ensure the safety of all passengers, and Air India has listed new rules as of December 29, with stricter measures for those travelling from high-risk countries. All new rules listed below are in line with government updates and were effective from January 1.

Note: All travellers travelling with Air India should preferably be fully vaccinated as per the approved primary schedule of vaccination against COVID-19 in their Country according to the report.

New rules for travellers from international countries

India’s Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has issued ‘Guidelines for International Arrivals’ in context of COVID-19 pandemic.

What will happen during your flight

  • An in-flight announcement about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic including precautionary measures to be followed (preferable use of masks and following physical distancing) shall be made in flights/travel and at all points of entry.
  • Any passenger having symptoms of COVID-19 during travel shall be isolated as per standard protocol i.e. the said passenger should be wearing mask, isolated and segregated from other passengers in flight/travel and shifted to an isolation facility subsequently for follow up treatment.

What happens when you land?

De-boarding should be done ensuring physical distancing.

Thermal screening should be done in respect of all the passengers by the health officials present at the point of entry.

The passengers found to be symptomatic during screening shall be immediately isolated, taken to a designated medical facility as per health protocol (as above).

The following protocol post arrival shall also be followed:

  • A sub-section (2% of the total passengers** in all incoming international flights) shall undergo random post arrival testing at the airport on arrival, irrespective of port of departure.
  • Such travellers in each flight shall be identified by the concerned airlines (preferably from different countries). They will submit the samples and shall be allowed to leave the airport thereafter.
  • If such travellers’ samples are tested positive, their samples should be further sent for genomic testing at INSACOG laboratory network.
  • They shall be treated/isolated as per laid down standard protocol.

** Children under 12 years of age are exempted from both pre-departure and post-arrival random testing. However, if found symptomatic for COVID-19 on arrival or during the period of self-monitoring period, they shall undergo testing and treated as per laid down protocol.

All travellers should self-monitor their health post arrival also shall report to their nearest health facility or call National helpline number (1075)/ State Helpline Number in case they have any symptoms suggestive of COVID-19.

Which countries are high risk?

Air India deems the following countries to be high risk: China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Republic of Korea, Thailand and Japan.

Stricter rules for people travelling from high-risk countries, see them here

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