With the onset of the new Omicron variant of COVID-19 considered extremely transmissible, India has been forced to return back to the old rules on international flights which were brought into place in March last year during the outbreak of the pandemic.

Announcing the new rule, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Thursday said that it has extended the suspension on scheduled commercial international flights till January 31. Besides, India has also changed its list of ‘at-risk’ countries. “In partial modification to the earlier order, it has been decided to extend the suspend the scheduled international commercial passenger flights to and from India till 31 January,” DGCA said in a statement.

International passengers travelling to India will now need to mandatorily declare their current health status on the Air Suvidha portal before boarding their flight. This updated rule has been announced by the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and all exemption forms have been discontinued for the time being.

Are all international flights cancelled?

The international flights scheduled are operating under special air-bubble arrangements and these flights will continue to operate as per their schedule.

India has air bubble arrangements with 32 countries including Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Maldives, Russia, UAE, US, UK.

Passengers are required to submit a copy of the passport, their vaccination certificate and their RT-PCR negative test conducted within 72 hours of departure.

For immigration, a copy received in an e-mail will be essential on arrival in India, which has to be verified at the APHO counter.

Those travelling from ‘at-risk’ countries, will be required to undergo a test on arrival too, the same can be pre-booked by clicking on the testing facility link.

International scheduled flights may also be allowed on select routes on a case to case basis.

However, the restrictions will not apply to international all-cargo operations and flights specially approved by the regulator.

Steps to be followed by international passengers 

International passengers will be required to submit a self-declaration form on the Air Suvidha portal.

They will require to submit a negative RT-PCR test report conducted within 72 hours before the journey on the portal.

All international passengers will be required to undergo a self-paid COVID-19 test on arrival at the airports.

All international passengers are also advised to undergo home quarantine for seven days.

Post-arrival COVID-19 testing is mandatory for travellers coming from ‘at-risk’ countries like Europe, the UK, Botswana and South Africa.

Changes to the list of ‘at-risk’ countries

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has removed Singapore and Bangladesh from the list of ‘at-risk’ countries.

This means passengers from Singapore and Bangladesh will be allowed to travel quarantine-free to India.

India has added Ghana and Tanzania to the list of ‘at-risk’ countries.

Now the list of ‘at-risk’ countries comprises Europe, including the UK, in addition to South Africa, Brazil, Botswana, China, Ghana, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Hong Kong and Israel.

With the onset of the new Omicron variant of COVID-19 considered extremely transmissible, India has been forced to return back to the old rules on international flights which were brought into place in March last year during the outbreak of the pandemic.

Announcing the new rule, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Thursday said that it has extended the suspension on scheduled commercial international flights till January 31. Besides, India has also changed its list of ‘at-risk’ countries. “In partial modification to the earlier order, it has been decided to extend the suspend the scheduled international commercial passenger flights to and from India till 31 January,” DGCA said in a statement.

International passengers travelling to India will now need to mandatorily declare their current health status on the Air Suvidha portal before boarding their flight. This updated rule has been announced by the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and all exemption forms have been discontinued for the time being.

Are all international flights cancelled?

The international flights scheduled are operating under special air-bubble arrangements and these flights will continue to operate as per their schedule.

India has air bubble arrangements with 32 countries including Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Maldives, Russia, UAE, US, UK.

Passengers are required to submit a copy of the passport, their vaccination certificate and their RT-PCR negative test conducted within 72 hours of departure.

For immigration, a copy received in an e-mail will be essential on arrival in India, which has to be verified at the APHO counter.

Those travelling from ‘at-risk’ countries, will be required to undergo a test on arrival too, the same can be pre-booked by clicking on the testing facility link.

International scheduled flights may also be allowed on select routes on a case to case basis.

However, the restrictions will not apply to international all-cargo operations and flights specially approved by the regulator.

Steps to be followed by international passengers 

International passengers will be required to submit a self-declaration form on the Air Suvidha portal.

They will require to submit a negative RT-PCR test report conducted within 72 hours before the journey on the portal.

All international passengers will be required to undergo a self-paid COVID-19 test on arrival at the airports.

All international passengers are also advised to undergo home quarantine for seven days.

Post-arrival COVID-19 testing is mandatory for travellers coming from ‘at-risk’ countries like Europe, the UK, Botswana and South Africa.

Changes to the list of ‘at-risk’ countries

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has removed Singapore and Bangladesh from the list of ‘at-risk’ countries.

This means passengers from Singapore and Bangladesh will be allowed to travel quarantine-free to India.

India has added Ghana and Tanzania to the list of ‘at-risk’ countries.

Now the list of ‘at-risk’ countries comprises Europe, including the UK, in addition to South Africa, Brazil, Botswana, China, Ghana, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Hong Kong and Israel.



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