India issues new SOPs for passengers arriving from UK, Europe and Middle East
23 February 2021
The centre has issued fresh guidelines for international travellers arriving in India in the backdrop of a surge in mutant variants of Covid-19, especially in the UK and the rest of Europe and the Middle East.
Under the new Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), which has come into effect on 22 February, all foreign travellers arriving from flights originating in the UK, Europe and the Middle East will have to reveal their travel history.
Effective Monday, all international travellers will have to submit self-declaration (SDF) for Covid on the online Air Suvidha portal before the scheduled travel.
They will also have to upload a negative Covid-19 RT-PCR report on the online portal www.newdelhiairport.in.
The test should have been conducted within 72 hours prior to the journey and each passenger will also have to submit a declaration with respect to the authenticity of the report.
At the time of boarding the flight, only asymptomatic travellers will be allowed to board after the thermal screening.
All passengers should wear masks throughout the ride, follow social distance standards, and have downloaded the Aarogya Setu app.
International travellers arriving through seaports/land ports will also have to undergo the same protocol, except that facility for online registration is not available for such passengers currently, as per the civil aviation ministry guidelines.
Airlines should identify the international travellers arriving from/transiting through the United Kingdom, Brazil and South Africa (during the past 14 days) and segregate them in-flight.
All the travellers arriving from/transiting through flights originating in the United Kingdom, Europe or the Middle East shall be mandatorily subjected to self-paid confirmatory molecular tests on arrival at the Indian airports concerned (port of entry).
All travellers from Europe and the Middle East shall give samples at the designated area and exit the airport. If the test report is negative, they will be advised to self-monitor their health for 14 days. If the test report is positive, they will undergo treatment as per standard health protocol.
The new SOPs will remain effective for 14 days or until further orders, says union health ministry release,
India suspended all scheduled international passenger flights since 23 March amid the coronavirus pandemic and air services continue to remain suspended. Overseas flights to and from India are currently operated as per air bubble agreements with various countries. Domestic flights, on the other hand, resumed in India from 25 May after a gap of two months due to the coronavirus-triggered lockdown.