(Updated on April 15, 2021) In compliance with the Ministry of Aviation’s new guidelines for international travelers flying into India on or after February 23, 2021, Karnataka revised its regulations for international arrivals at Bengaluru Kempegowda Airport and other ports of entry in the state. A pre-arrival RT-PCR report approved on Air Suvidha and 14-day home-quarantine/self-monitoring of health on arrival are now mandatory for Karnataka-bound international travelers.
Filling out a self-declaration form on Air Suvidha within 72 hours of undertaking the scheduled journey to India is equally mandatory. Please note everyone arriving into Karnataka from abroad must carry a negative RT-PCR test report, regardless of their age and vaccination status. However, there is an exemption. If you are traveling to Karnataka or some other state via Karnataka because of a death in the family, you can seek exemption on Air Suvidha from taking a pre-arrival RT-PCR test given you travel on nonstop flights to India.
For instance, traveling on nonstop Air India flights to Bengaluru from San Francisco or Singapore or London makes you eligible for exemption from taking a pre-departure RT-PCR test only in the exigency of death in the family. You should seek approval for your exemption request on Air Suvidha by uploading valid documents and must give your swab sample for a molecular test on arrival.
If you transit in Europe or Middle East
As per the current rules for international arrivals into India, if you arrive from or transit in the Middle East or Europe (excluding the UK), you can exit the arrival airport or take a connecting domestic flight within or outside the state of Karnataka after giving your swab sample for a test at a designated area of the airport. You don’t need to wait for the test result, which will be communicated to you via email or over phone. If negative, you will be advised to self-monitor your health for 14 days. Please note self-monitoring of health does not mean home quarantine.
The post-arrival process is less stringent for those arriving on Lufthansa or Emirates or Qatar Airways flights to Bengaluru from USA or any other country. IndianEagle.com, a most-trusted travel-booking company in the US, is booking cheap Emirates flights to Bangalore and cheap Qatar Airways tickets to India. Please note only foreign nationals with a valid visa (neither OCI card nor tourist visa) can travel on Lufthansa to Bengaluru.
If you arrive from or transit in the UK
If you take flights to Bengaluru from or via the UK, Brazil, or South Africa, you will have to wait at BLR Airport until the result of the molecular test of your swab sample is delivered. You will be allowed to exit the airport or make onward domestic travel and undergo 7-day home quarantine if you test negative. You fall in this scenario if you travel on British Airways flights to Bangalore via London Heathrow.
Exemption from taking a molecular test on arrival
Arriving on nonstop flights to Bengaluru from USA or any other country except Europe, Brazil and South Africa gets you exempted from taking a molecular test on arrival, provided you carry a negative RT-PCR report uploaded on Air Suvidha within 72 hours of undertaking the journey from abroad.
Who can travel to Bengaluru, India from abroad?
All Indian passport holders, foreign citizens with/without OCI/PIO cards, and foreign nationals having valid visas to India (as per the Ministry of Home Affairs guidelines) can travel to Bengaluru on VBM flights and air bubble flights from USA, Canada, the UK, the UAE, Singapore and other few countries. Please note the tourist visa to India is currently suspended.
Guidelines for short-term international arrivals in Bengaluru
International travelers flying into Bengaluru for a business purpose, visa renewal, or emergency in family can travel back within 14 days provided they follow Karnataka’s guidelines for short-term/business travelers from abroad. The aforementioned pre-arrival requirements, including submission of a self-declaration form and a negative RT-PCR report, apply to international travelers on a short visit to Bengaluru. You need to meet the following requirements if you are an international traveler planning on making a short trip to Karnataka.
- You must carry a confirmed ticket for return travel within 14 days from the date of arrival
- You must produce valid documents regarding the purpose of visit, the place of stay, hotel reservation, etc.
- You must provide address proof of person/s you will meet during the short trip in Karnataka
- You may undergo a COVID test on arrival at Bengaluru Kempegowda Airport
- You must take an RT-PCR test on the 7th day of your arrival if your stay exceeds 7 days
COVID19 testing facility at Bangalore International Airport
Kempegowda International Airport has a dedicated COVID-19 testing facility for passengers, both inbound and outbound. The 24/7 COVID testing center near the arrivals area of the terminal offers both Rapid RT-PCR tests (Abbott ID NOW) and regular RT-PCR tests. The result of a Rapid RT-PCR test is available in 30 minutes, whereas the regular RT-PCR test results are issued within 24 hours from the time of testing. A Rapid RT-PCR test costs Rs 4900 per individual, and a regular RT-PCR test costs Rs 1200 per individual. You can log on https://aurigaresearch.com/covid-19-testing/ for the advance booking of a slot for RT-PCR testing at Bangalore Airport.
After arrival at airports in Karnataka
Karnataka’s guidelines for international inbound travelers include mandatory thermal screening and pulse oximeter reading on arrival at Bangalore and Mangalore international airports . Every traveler flying in from abroad undergoes thermal screening and pulse oximeter testing. If he/she is found symptomatic (feverish temperature, cough, cold, sore throat), they will be isolated and taken to a dedicated health facility for payable COVID19 testing. If they test positive with severe symptoms, they will be quarantined at a paid or government facility until they are negative.
This guide on traveling to and arrival in Karnataka is part of our continued effort to provide the latest information about travel to and from India on VBM or air bubble flights. The current scenario of travel regulations and restrictions needs you to be well-informed about latest updates on Karnataka’s entry requirements for international travelers. Indian Eagle, a most trusted travel-booking partner of Indian Diaspora, is committed to making air travel easier amid the pandemic.