The government of India relaxed the existing guidelines for international arrivals on February 10. Since February 14, 2022; Karnataka’s regulations for international travelers flying in have been aligned with the revised and relaxed guidelines. The same guidelines are still valid for inbound travel to Bengaluru from the countries that India has signed an agreement with on mutual recognition of vaccine certificates. You don’t need to take an RT-PCR test if you are fully vaccinated. India is in such an agreement with the US, the UK, the UAE, the Philippines, Canada, Mexico, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Australia, Ireland, Israel, Qatar, Turkey, Oman, Sweden, Thailand, and a few other countries.
If you are fully-vaccinated and traveling on international flights to Bengaluru from any of the above countries, you can upload only the completion certificate of your COVID-19 vaccine schedule on Air Suvidha. You must take an RT-PCR test and upload the negative report on Air Suvidha within 72 hours before traveling to India only if you are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated. In either scenario, filling out a self-declaration form and disclosing travel history of 14 days on Air Suvidha prior to traveling to Karnataka is mandatory.
“The relaxation of the regulations is a welcome move. Now fully-vaccinated travelers can take last minute flights to India from USA or any other country in the event of a family emergency without worrying about a pre-departure RT-PCR test. Earlier, some of our customers could not travel to India immediately in the exigency of death in family because of the mandatory RT-PCR testing,” said the chief travel advisor of IndianEagle.com, a leading air-ticketing partner of Indians in America.
Children under 5 years of age continue to be exempted from vaccination and pre-departure COVID-19 testing. If they are found symptomatic on arrival, they must be tested for COVID-19.
Post-arrival testing and quarantine
As per the government of India’s new guidelines that Karnataka complies with effective from FEB 14, you are not subject to a COVID-19 test on arrival at Mangalore or Bangalore Kempegowda Airport unless thermal screening finds you symptomatic or you are identified for random testing on arrival. If you are found symptomatic in thermal screening, you will be isolated and tested. You will have to wait for the test result. On testing positive, you will be shifted to an institutional quarantine facility. If you are randomly selected for a COVID-19 test, you will be able to exit the airport or take a connecting flight after your swab sample is collected. Notably, only 2% of the total passengers of every flight arriving at Kempegowda Airport BLR will be randomly tested for COVID-19.
Starting on February 14, pre-booking a post-arrival RT-PCR test is no more a requirement for those arriving from or through the UK or any other European country that has been classified as ‘at-risk’ till February 13.
There is neither any sort of quarantine nor mandatory RT-PCR testing on day 8 of arrival for international travelers in Karnataka. Hence, fully-vaccinated, COVID negative, and asymptomatic travelers are free from home-quarantine in Karnataka. If signs and symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 develop after your arrival in Karnataka, they must contact the nearest health center or the national helpline number 1075. If you are found COVID-negative but symptomatic on arrival at Bengaluru Airport, you may be directed to undergo home-quarantine for 7 days.
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 flights from USA, Canada, the UK, the UAE, Singapore, and other few countries. All PIO cardholders can travel to and from India until December 31, 2022 as the PIO to OCI conversion deadline is extended. Do also check the latest OCI card news with respect to travel to and from India.
COVID19 testing 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 within 30 minutes, whereas the regular RT-PCR test results are delivered within 5-6 hours from the time of sample collection. A Rapid RT-PCR test costs Rs 3200 per individual, and a regular RT-PCR test costs Rs 800 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 you are found symptomatic (feverish temperature, cough, cold, sore throat), you will be isolated and taken to a dedicated health facility for payable COVID19 testing. If you test positive with severe symptoms, you will be quarantined at a paid or government facility until they are negative.
This guide on flying in to and arrival in Karnataka is part of our continued effort to provide the latest information about travel to and from India. We, at Indian Eagle, have addressed thousands of travel concerns and queries during the pandemic in the past two years, thereby ensuring hassle-free boarding and arrival for travelers. Indian Eagle, a most trusted travel-booking partner of Indian Diaspora, is committed to making international air tickets to India available for reasonable fares.