Considering worldwide COVID -19 present pandemic situation Indian government prepared a SOP [Standard Operating Procedures] for international travelers or anybody who will arrive in India. This SOP shall be valid w.e.f. 12th November 2021 till further orders as per Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Based on the risk assessment, this document shall be reviewed from time to time by health department.
A. Planning for Travel
1. All travellers should –
a. Submit self-declaration form on the online Air Suvidha portal before the scheduled travel
b. Upload a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR report*. This test should have been conducted within 72 hrs. prior to undertaking the journey.
c. Each passenger shall also submit a declaration with respect to authenticity of the report and will be liable for criminal prosecution, if found otherwise
2. They should also give an undertaking on the portal or otherwise to Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government 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-health monitoring, as warranted.
3. Continuing with the earlier approach, travellers from certain specified Countries (based on epidemiological situation of COVID-19 in those Countries) are identified for additional follow up. These include need for additional measures as detailed in para (D-4) below. The listing of such specified Countries is a dynamic exercise based on evolving situation of COVID-19 across the world and will be made available on the websites of Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, (mohfw.gov.in) and the link of the same will be available at website of Ministry of External Affairs and Air Suvidha Portal.
4. There are Countries which have agreement with India on mutual recognition of vaccination certificates of Nationally recognised or WHO recognised vaccines. Similarly, there are Countries which presently do not have such an agreement with India, but they exempt Indian citizens fully vaccinated with Nationally recognised or WHO recognised vaccines. On the basis of reciprocity, the travellers from all such Countries which provide quarantine-free entry to Indians are allowed certain relaxations on arrival (Category A Countries). The listing of such Countries is available on websites of Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (mohfw.gov.in) and the link of the same will be available at website of Ministry of External Affairs and Air Suvidha Portal. This is also a dynamic list and will be updated from time to time. The travellers from Category A Countries shall upload their fully vaccinated** certificate on the Air Suvidha portal.
B. Before Boarding
1. Do’s and Don’ts shall be provided along with ticket to the travellers by the airlines/agencies concerned.
2. Airlines to allow boarding by only those passengers who have filled in the Self Declaration Form on the Air Suvidha portal, uploaded the negative RT-PCR test report.
3. At the time of boarding the flight, only asymptomatic travellers will be allowed to board after thermal screening.
4. All passengers shall be advised to download Aarogya Setu app on their mobile devices.
C. During Travel
1. In-flight announcement about COVID-19 including precautionary measures to be followed shall be made at airports and in flights and during transit.
2. During in-flight crew shall ensure that COVID appropriate behaviour is followed at all times.
3. If any passenger reports symptoms of COVID-19 during flight, he/she shall be isolated as per protocol.
D. On arrival
- Deboarding should be done ensuring physical distancing.
- 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.
- The passengers found to be symptomatic during screening shall be immediately isolated and taken to medical facility as per health protocol. If tested positive, their contacts shall be identified and managed as per laid down protocol# .
- Travellers from specified Countries at risk [as mentioned in para (A-3) above] will follow the protocol as detailed below:
a. If traveller is coming from a Country with which India has reciprocal arrangements for mutual acceptance of WHO approved COVID-19 vaccines (Category A):
i. If fully vaccinated**: They shall be allowed to leave the airport and shall selfmonitor their health for 14 days’ post arrival.
ii. If partially/not vaccinated: The travellers need to undertake the following measures:
- Submission of sample for post-arrival COVID-19 test* at the point of arrival after which they will be allowed to leave the airport,
- Home quarantine for 7 days,
- Re-test on the 8th day of arrival in India* and if negative, further selfmonitor of their health for next 7 days.
b. If traveller is coming from a Country excluding those covered under Category A, they would be required to undergo the measures as mentioned in para a (ii) above, irrespective of their COVID-19 vaccination status.
5. Travellers from Countries excluding those Countries at risk, will be allowed to leave the airport and shall self-monitor their health for 14 days’ post arrival. This is applicable to travellers from all Countries including Countries with which reciprocal arrangements for mutual acceptance of WHO approved COVID-19 vaccines also exist.
6. Travellers under home quarantine or self-health monitoring, if develop signs and symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 or test positive for COVID-19 on re-testing, they will immediately selfisolate and report to their nearest health facility or call National helpline number (1075)/ State Helpline Number.
E. International travellers arriving at seaports/land ports
- International travellers 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.
- Such travellers shall submit the self-declaration form to the concerned authorities of Government of India at seaports/land ports on arrival.
Children bellow 5 years and Suspect cases
* Children under 5 years of age are exempted from both pre- and post-arrival testing. However, if found symptomatic for COVID-19 on arrival or during home quarantine period, they shall undergo testing and treated as per laid down protocol.
** 15 days must have elapsed since completion of COVID-19 vaccination schedule
# 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 home quarantine period) would be subjected to quarantine for 14 days and tested as per ICMR protocol.