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India resumes quarantine-free entry to foreign travellers from 99 countries

The RT-PCR test should be conducted within 72 hours prior to undertaking the journey.

November 15, 2021 08:55 pm | Updated 10:27 pm IST - New Delhi

A view of the Chennai airport. Photo used for representation purpose only.

A view of the Chennai airport. Photo used for representation purpose only.

Travellers from 99 countries, who are fully-vaccinated against coronavirus, have now been exempted from mandatory quarantine on arrival in India , according to revised guidelines from the Centre.

Passengers from the United States, Great Britain, Israel, France, Germany, Spain, Australia, Belgium, Bangladesh, Finland, Croatia, Hungary, Russia, the Philippines, Qatar, Singapore, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Turkey and Nepal are some of the countries that feature on the exempted list.

Also read: Travel guidelines for international passengers to Karnataka revised

The exemption follows India’s agreement with some of the 99 nations on “mutual recognition of [COVID-19] vaccination certificates” of nationally recognised or the World Health Organisation (WHO) recognised vaccines.

On the other hand, some countries in the ‘Category A’ list while not having a mutual recognition of vaccine agreement with India, permit quarantine-free entry of fully vaccinated Indian nationals.

“The decision to offer some relaxations to COVID-19 protocols for international travellers coming from the 99 countries has been made “on the basis of reciprocity”, the notification explained

Travellers from the 99 nations must submit a self-declaration of their fully vaccinated status on the Air Suvidha portal, and also produce a negative RT-PCR test report conducted within 72 hours before travel.

Also read: Self paid RT-PCR test mandatory for passengers from U.K., Middle East, China, South Africa at Mumbai airport

The passengers also need to submit a declaration related to the authenticity of the RT-PCR report and “will be liable to criminal prosecution, if found otherwise,” the notification stated.

Though exempted from mandatory quarantine these passengers will need to self-monitor their health for the 14 days starting from the date of arrival in India and if they develop signs and symptoms of COVID-19 or test positive for the infection on re-testing, “they will immediately self-isolate and report to their nearest health facility or call National helpline number (1075)/State Helpline Number,” the government notification said .

Travellers, who are partially vaccinated or not vaccinated against COVID-19, must submit their sample for testing on arrival in India and undergo home quarantine for seven days, take a COVID-19 test again on the eighth day, and if found negative, “further self-monitor” their health for the next seven days.

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