The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) has released the guidelines for the international travellers wishing to visit India on e-Tourist Visa when the country reopens the borders for scheduled international flights and visitors from November 15. The overall spirit of the guidelines is ‘reciprocity’. Countries which have agreements with India and recognise Indian vaccine certificates or recognised by the WHO and allow Indian visitors quarantine-free entry will have easy procedures while entering India compared to citizens of other countries.
Fully vaccinated citizens of category ‘A’ countries with which India has either mutual agreement or recognise the Indian vaccine certificate and allow quarantine free entry, can leave the airport on arrival straightaway. In case they are partially vaccinated, they can leave the terminal after submitting the RT-PCR sample on arrival. They have to do home quarantine for 7 days before undergoing a second test on the 8th day. However, all travellers, irrespective of their vaccine status, have to carry and produce a negative RT-PCR certificate obtained within 72 hrs of arrival in India.
All international travellers also have to fill in an online self-declaration on ‘Air Suvidha’ portal and also upload the RT-PCR negative certificate before boarding the flight. They also have to give a self-declaration on the authenticity of the report. Travellers from specified countries at risk and those who do not have mutual agreements with India on the protocols will have to go through the additional RT-PCR testing on arrival and self-quarantine for 14 days with a second RT-PCR on the 8th day of arrival.
The countries which are included in the ‘risk’ category and need additional testing on arrival are countries in Europe including the UK; South Africa; Brazil; Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, and Zimbabwe.
The Category ’A’ countries as per the latest guidelines are The United Kingdom; France; Germany; Nepal; Belarus; Lebanon; Armenia; Ukraine; Belgium; Hungary; and Serbia.
The guideline has come into effect from October 25, 2021.