India Issues Revised Guidelines for International Arrivals. This will Take Effect on October 25

On OCT 20, the government of India issued the revised guidelines for international arrivals from countries at COVID-19 risks and countries with a falling COVID graph. India’s revised guidelines for inbound international passengers took effect on October 25, 2021.

The pre-arrival guidelines – taking an RT-PCR test within 72 hours prior to traveling to India, filling out a self-declaration form and uploading the negative RT-PCR report on Air Suvidha, and giving a declaration ascertaining authenticity of the COVID-19 report – will continue to be in effect and must be followed by every traveler flying into India, irrespective of age, vaccination status, and country of residence or travel origin. There is exemption for children under 5 years of age. With effect from November 12, the government of India exempts children below 5 from taking an RT-PCR test prior to their scheduled travel from the country of residence or travel origin. If a child below 5 is found symptomatic during thermal screening on arrival, the child will be tested for COVID-19.

India guidelines for international arrivals, post arrival measures India, India's entry guidelines for international passengers

India’s list of countries at risk

Let’s decode the revised guidelines for people traveling to India on or after OCT 25, with the list of countries at risk. European countries including the UK, China, Brazil, South Africa, Mauritius, Zimbabwe, New Zealand, Botswana and Bangladesh are on Indian government’s list of countries at COVID-19 risk.

Travelers flying into India from countries not at risk  

We see that the United States, Canada, Qatar, the UAE, Turkey, Mexico, Singapore, Australia and Japan are currently not on India’s list of countries at risk. Travelers from countries excluding the countries at risk will have smooth arrival and no home-quarantine in India. If they are asymptomatic, they will be allowed to exit the entry airport or continue onward travel to the final destination without a post-arrival COVID-19 test. They will be advised self-monitoring of heath for two weeks from the day of arrival.

Currently, India-bound travelers transiting in Europe or the Middle East have to take a self-paid RT-PCR test on arrival. India’s revised guidelines for international arrivals do not explicitly state whether those arriving through the Middle East or Europe will be needed to give their swab sample for a paid test from October 25 onwards. Many people from Canada and the US travel to India on one-stop flights via Doha, Dubai, or Abu Dhabi. Hope the post-arrival testing protocol will be removed for them once the revised guidelines come into effect.

“The state governments have been allowed to relax or tighten the guidelines further for international arrivals till date. Whether the revised guidelines will uniformly be implemented across India on or after October 25, is a matter of concern. Currently, international travelers whose final destination is within the state of Maharashtra are subject to 14-day home quarantine. But Karnataka and a few other states have done away with any sort of quarantine for asymptomatic international arrivals,” said the chief travel advisor of Indian Eagle, a leading travel-booking partner of Indians abroad.

Travelers flying into India from the category ‘A’ countries 

The category A is the list of countries which have signed an agreement with India on mutual acceptance of vaccination certificates from travelers inoculated with nationally or WHO-recognized vaccines. The A list of countries are also the countries that allow quarantine-free arrival to Indians fully vaccinated with nationally recognized or WHO-listed vaccines. The category ‘A’ countries are the UK, France, Germany, Belarus, Belgium, Hungary, Serbia, Lebanon, Ukraine, Armenia and Nepal.

With effect from October 25, India-bound travelers from these countries will be divided into two groups: fully vaccinated and partially/not vaccinated. Fully vaccinated travelers from the category ‘A’ countries will no longer undergo a post-arrival test and home quarantine in India. They shall self-monitor their health for 14 days.

Starting on October 25, partially/unvaccinated travelers from the category ‘A’ countries will be subjected to a self-paid RT-PCR test on arrival, 7-day home quarantine, and re-testing on day 8. If they test negative on the 8th day following 7 days of home quarantine, they will be advised self-monitoring of health for next seven days.

These additional post-arrival measures will equally apply to travelers, vaccinated or unvaccinated, from the countries at risk, according to India’s revised guidelines for international arrivals.

Indian government’s list of countries at risk and list of category A countries are dynamic. The lists will be revised from time to time. If international travelers develop COVID symptoms during home-quarantine or while self-monitoring health in India, they are advised to contact the nearest health center or the helpline 1075.

60 thoughts on “India Issues Revised Guidelines for International Arrivals. This will Take Effect on October 25

  1. bkaur

    I have a Visa that expires in 2027.. Will I be able to fly into India from the U.S. with this visa? How long am
    I able to stay? I have a family there that I stay with each time I come… I am vaccinated with Moderna.
    I need to know what I have to do to come for a visit with them…

    Reply
    • Maria caraska

      Hi Team
      I will be travelling from Sharjah to Mumbai as final destination next week do I need to under go PCR test on arrival? As per above article UAE is exempted from pcr on Arrival can you please clarify my dought

      Reply
      • indianeagle Post author

        Hi Maria! Mumbai Airport does still follows the guidelines issued by the government of Maharashtra earlier. Therefore, you will have to take a self-paid RT-PCR test on arrival and undergo 14-day home quarantine.

        Reply
  2. SSG

    Do you have information if passengers (from countries at risk) still after 25th October have to wait for the result of the PCR test before being allowed to take a connecting flight.

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Swati! In our knowledge, travelers from the countries at risk don’t have to wait for the result of the test taken on arrival.

      Reply
  3. bkaur

    When is India going to address the issue of people who already have multi-entry visas… My visa don’t expire til 2027.. AM I going to be able to use this visa to come to India in December 2021? India needs to put out
    clear instructions as to what we are suppose to do to come for visit. I AM Vaccinated and just got my 3rd shot (a booster) I am USA Citizen. I need to know what to do… I would be flying from USA to Delhi

    thanks

    Reply
  4. bkaur

    I found this on the Consulate of General India (this is the consulate in Houston, Texas)

    The Government of India has decided to issue fresh tourist visas with effect from 15 October, 2021 for group tourism and from 15 November, 2021 for individual tourist travel. It may be noted that existing valid e-Tourist Visa/regular paper Tourist Visa, issued before 6 October 2021, will continue to remain suspended and travel on such visas is not permitted.
    Since individual travel on fresh tourist visa is allowed only from 15 November, applicants are advised not to send their application to the Consulate before 10 November, 2021.
    A Single Entry e-Tourist Visa/regular paper Tourist Visa valid for a stay of up to 30 days will be issued, which will have to be utilized within a period of 120 days from the date of issue. This visa will be issued on a gratis basis for a limited time once to each applicant.
    It may be noted that existing valid e-Tourist Visa/regular paper Tourist Visa issued before 6 October, 2021 will continue to remain suspended and travel on such visas is not permitted.

    Reply
  5. Juliana

    Traveling from US to india via Middle East, do we still need to take a PCR test in Middle East to enter india? And there is no quarantine required for travelers from US right? One test taken in US prior to boarding and uploading in india’s air suvidha website is enough? Can you please confirm?

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Juliana! No test to be taken in the Middle East. If Mumbai Airport is your port of entry, you will have to take a self-paid RT-PCR test on arrival in spite of the test you will take in the US.

      Reply
  6. Abee

    For travelling in November from US to Mumbai via Dubai, does one need to undergo institutional quarantine if partially / not vaccinated? Are they still to conduct COVID tests after arrival despite of having negative RTPCR? Does Dubai halt add to the complication?

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Abee! There is no institutional quarantine in India. For travelers from the US, vaccination is still not a mandatory requirement for entry to India. As per Maharashtra’s guidelines, you need to take a self-paid RT-PCR test on arrival at Mumbai Airport.

      Reply
  7. Manikandan Ramakrishnan

    My wife and 11 month old are travelling November 2nd. I am travelling with my 5 year old on November 18. Do we all need to take a covid test. Myself and my wife are vaccinated in USA. Myself and my wife are green card holders and our kids are US citizens.

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Manikandan! Everyone traveling to India, irrespective of their age, citizenship and travel origin, has to take an RT-PCR test within 72 hours prior to the scheduled departure.

      Reply
  8. resnick

    HI,
    Thank you for patiently answering everyone’s questions on these confusing directives from India.

    I am thinking of traveling from US to Dubai to Chennai in November.
    Do I have to take a Covid test upon arrival?
    Is there minimum stay required in India?
    What are the quarantine requirement in Tamil Nadu?
    If one is fully vaccinated, does it make it easier in terms of quarantine requirements?

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Resnick! As per India’s revised guidelines for travelers from abroad, bot the US and Dubai are outside the government’s list of countries at risk. On submission of a self-declaration form on Air Suvidha, you will receive a copy of the filled form to the registered email ID. If it shows a green strip, you don’t need to undergo an RT-PCR test on arrival at Chennai Airport. There is no minimum stay requirement. No quarantine for asymptomatic travelers from the US.

      Reply
      • resnick

        It looks like my actual itenary will be US – Athens – dubai to chennai.

        Does it change anything?

        Reply
  9. Pravin

    Hi, I am Pravin, will travel from Toronto with Negative RT-PCR test on 12th November to Ahmedabad via Abu Dhabi transit. Will I need to under go RT-PCR test at Ahmedabad being my final destination?

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Pravin! As per the revised guidelines that took effect on OCT 25, you are not required to take a test on arrival. Please note the local rules of the state may be different from the revised guidelines.

      Reply
  10. Anurag

    Hi,

    I have a qatar airways flight from US to India with transit in doha. They just cancelled my flight. Do we know why are they doing this and what should I do? I need to be in India by next week and the reschedule options are crazy expensive.

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Anurag! The flight might have been cancelled due to low occupancy. If you are a customer of IndianEagle.com, please call our customer support helpline.

      Reply
  11. gaurav

    I am US citizen and need to travel to India on Nov 15. Can I apply for Indian e tourist visa and travel? or is the travel not allowed on visitor visa

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Gaurav! You can apply for a fresh tourist visa for travel on or after NOV 15.

      Reply
  12. Mustafa

    Hello IndianEagle team, thanks for sharing the guidance, much appreciated!

    I am planning to travel from US to Delhi via Amsterdam (Netherlands). Would I be required to take RT-PCR test upon arrival on Delhi airport? If so, can I exit after giving the sample, or will have to wait till a negative result arrives? My domestic flight departs around four hours after I arrive (both are on Terminal-3). It seems I’ll miss the flight if I’ll be required to wait till the negative result arrives. Looking forward to your guidance.

    Thank you in advance!

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Mustafa! If you’re asymptomatic, you have higher chances of being exempted from taking a test on arrival at Delhi Airport. In case you are required to undergo a test, you won’t have to wait for the test result. So, no worries.

      Reply
  13. Siddharth

    Hi IndiaEagle team,

    I have a flight from USA to Bangalore with one stop layover of 8 hrs in Dubai.
    Further i have a domestic connecting flight to Hyderabad after 4 hours in Bangalore airport.
    I am fully vaccinated with Pfizer vaccine.

    I will be taking the RT PCR test within 72 hours of travel and upload on Air Suvidha.

    I) Do I need to take any on arrival RT PCR test in Bangalore airport?
    Ii) will I be allowed to connect to the domestic flight to Hyderabad without any issues or testing requirements at Bangalore airport?
    iii) Is there any testing requirement on arriving in Hyderabad from Bangalore.?

    Thank you in advance!

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Siddharth! As per the revised guidelines, travelers arriving or transiting through the Middle East are not required to take a test on arrival if they are asymptomatic. No testing requirement at Hyderabad too.

      Reply
  14. Viswanathan A

    Hi, We are planning to travel from US to Chennai on December 4th. We are a family of 4, 2 adults and 2 young kids aged 9 and 14. Just would like to confirm current requirements.
    1. Need to upload RT-PCR negative report which is taken 72 hours prior to boarding. Interms of calculating the 72 hours, my domestic flight boarding starts on Dec 4th at 1:36PM but my first international connection at Chicago is at 6PM

    Question is, if we take the RT-PCR test at 2PM on December 1st would that be okay and then upload the results as soon as it arrives?

    2. We are reading about the Tamil Nadu e-Pass, When should we need to fill out the e-pass, can we go ahead do that now and get that out of the way

    3. We are transiting through Abu Dhabi, are we subject to on arrival RT-PCR test at Chennai?

    Thanks for you help

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Viswanathan! As per India’s revised guidelines, you are not subject to a post-arrival RT-PCR test if you are asymptomatic. You can register for a TN e-pass within 7 days prior to your scheduled departure. If your itinerary starting from the first domestic airport to the final destination has only one PNR, you should take an RT-PCR test within 72 hours prior to your scheduled travel from the first domestic airport in the US.

      Reply
  15. Krishna

    Hello,

    I’m a US citizen with OCI. I’m planning to travel to Hyd at the end of December. I’m not sure why there are few options available now to book. I see a couple of flight options with reasonable prices. One is flying from SFO to Istanbul to Muscat to Hyderabad. Another is via Doha-Colombo-Hyd.
    Are these flights part of air bubble to agreement to land in India or will they cancel them eventually? Any special requirements (additional covid tests etc.) for travel through Istanbul? Thank you.

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Krishna! You can choose to travel the route Doha-Colombo-Hyd and book the flight on our portal IndianEagle.com. This is part of the air bubble corridor. You may need a transit visa (ETA) for Colombo.

      Reply
  16. Sunny

    Hello
    I am traveling usa to delhi via dubai (emirates)- with my wife and 2 kids {1 year (14 months) and 5 year old.}

    I understand we still need the rt-pcr 72 hrs before departing under the new guidelines, but is there option for kids to be exempt using suvidha app?

    Also is the molecule test that was mandatory at arrival in the past guidelines because of connecting flight in middle east(dubai) , has that ended? Can we just exit the airport on arrival? Or we still need to get the test?

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Sunny! Unfortunately, kids are not exempted from taking an RT-PCR test prior to traveling from the US. A post-arrival test is no more required for international travelers arriving from the US and transiting via the Middle East as per the revised guidelines if all of you are found asymptomatic on arrival at Delhi Airport.

      Reply
  17. mahebub

    Hi, my parents and I are traveling in november from boston to mumbia via british airways, so it has a layover in heathrow. We are all vaccinated and will comply with air suvidha rules. Will we need to be re tested in mumbai at arrival? or quarantine at the airport? i have elderly, that is why i am concerned.

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Mahebub! If you are found asymptomatic during thermal screening, you don’t need to take a post-arrival test at Mumbai Airport and undergo any sort of quarantine.

      Reply
  18. Pragnesh

    Hi, This is not clear what are rules for UK fully vaccinated arrival & what about kids ?
    Article says UK is in list of Risk & Category A both.
    I am travelling in December from UK to Mumbai then Ahmedabad.
    Do we have to take tests at mumbai airport?
    Thanks

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Pragnesh! Fully-vaccinated travelers from the UK, Germany and France are exempted from additional testing and quarantine in India. Make sure to upload your vaccination certificate and a negative RT-PCR test report on Air Suvidha within 72 hours prior to your scheduled departure from the UK.

      Reply
      • Pragnesh

        Thanks for reply Indianeagle.
        We are planning to take test for all of us & have vaccine certificate for us.
        For kids only negative test is sufficient?

        Reply
        • indianeagle Post author

          Hi Pragnesh! A negative RT-PCR test report is sufficient for kids traveling to India. FYI, kids below 5 years of age are exempted from taking an RT-PCR test before and after arrival in India.

          Reply
  19. Ranjani Shankar

    Hello. I will be traveling on November 18 th from USA to Bangalore via Paris . I am taking delta airlines .
    Do I need to get the RTPCR test done once I arrive at Bangalore

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Ranjani! Not required if you are found asymptomatic during thermal screening at BLR Airport.

      Reply
  20. Mani

    Hi there,
    If I want to travel for one week from USA to India, Is that a possibility? I notice 14 days self-monitoring for now. What is the rule if my trip s 7 days or less than 14 days.
    Thank you

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Mani! Self-monitoring of health is unlike home-quarantine. If you are fully vaccinated and asymptomatic, you are exempted from any sort of quarantine in India. So, you can travel back in a week of arrival.

      Reply
  21. Whisker

    Hi IndianEagle

    I have trip which has been planned for over a year and all the changes are confusing, could you clarify a few areas please.
    Myself and my wife are flying from UK to Bangalore, with a 7 hour layover to then transit on to Sri Lanka.
    We are both fully vaccinated and will have taken a PCR test 72 hours prior to leaving the UK.
    I have two issues currently with our planning
    1. Issues regarding getting an e-Visa to travel, are these likely to be available again for UK residents soon or do we need to travel to an Indian High Commission in UK for paper visas?
    2. Being fully vaccinated would we need a PCR/molecular test when arriving in Bangalore? If so do we need to await the 6-8 hours as stated or is this superseded by the Pct 25th update?

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Whisker! The UK citizens are currently barred from availing an e-tourist visa to India. But they can seek an Indian transit visa through the e-visa facility. Please be advised to go through https://www.evisasindia.org/transit-visa-for-india-guide/. Fully-vaccinated travelers from the UK are exempted from additional testing on arrival in India if they are found asymptomatic during thermal screening.

      Reply
  22. Kunal

    Hi,
    I am travelling from UK to Chennai on December 2021, do I need to take a swab test in airport after arrival and home quarantine? I am fully vaccinated and have proof of vaccination. Where do I apply for the TN e-pass? I will complete the Air Suvidha form and upload a negative RT-PCR test. Is there anything else I need to do? Thank you very much.

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Kunal! Fully-vaccinated travelers from the UK are exempted from additional testing and quarantine in India. Make sure to upload your vaccination proof and a negative RT-PCR test report on Air Suvidha. https://tnepass.tnega.org/ is where you can apply for a TN e-pass.

      Reply
  23. ashalata Khagram

    HI
    can i carry printed documents like my proof of vaccine and PVR test result instead of downloading on air suvidha app, i am really struggling to download documents.

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Ashalata! You are not supposed to download documents from Air Suvidha. Rather, you are required to upload your vaccination proof and a negative RT-PCR report on Air Suvidha, which you will find on the website of Delhi Airport. You must upload and carry these documents.

      Reply
  24. jesper madsen

    Hello.. What are rules as recovered Covid19 ? I hold a certificate from EU saying i recovered from Covid19 (immunity certificate) – can i enter with this ?

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Jesper! Despite having the recovery certificate, you need to take an RT-PCR test within 72 hours prior to your scheduled travel to India. If you are fully-vaccinated, you won’t face any sort of quarantine in India.

      Reply
  25. Swetha

    Hi,
    I will be traveling from US to Mumbai and then to Coimbatore in December with one PNR.
    I have layover in Mumbai for 8 hrs.
    My domestic flight to Coimbatore will be more than 72 hrs of RT-PCR test.
    Do i need to take new RT-PCR test in Mumbai to travel to Coimbatore?

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Swetha! The 72 hours of the RT-PCR test is not linked to your domestic flight to Coimbatore. It is counted prior to your scheduled departure on an international flight. So, no worries.

      Reply
  26. Vijay

    Hi, we are flying on AA flight of JFK to Delhi next week for two vaccinated parents with a unvaccinated 4 year child. We are to stay in a hotel near the Delhi Airport then take flight to Kolkata following day. All 3 of us hold oci.

    I’ve noticed on latest guidelines document of 7 day home quarantine for unvaccinated minors. Would you know if this will cause trouble in Delhi with planned one night hotel stay then onward domestic flight on next day? Or can this home quarantine be avoided by having her do the pcr test before leaving even when not required? Thanks

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Vijay! FYI, asymptomatic kids below 5 years of age are exempted from taking an RT-PCR test before and after arrival in India, irrespective whether they are vaccinated or not. In our knowledge, unvaccinated minors are not subject to home-quarantine in India if they are asymptomatic.

      Reply
      • Vijay

        Thanks. Also I later found this flow chart on India’s Ministry of Affairs website which cleared out confusion as well, it clearly shows that the quarantine requirement is only if you are from a “country at risk”. Moreover it seems to show that they dont care for vaccination status at all if your not from a “country at risk” so from USA/Canada no requirement but it does matter from Europe, UK, etc which are on the list:

        https://mea.gov.in/Images/french/Algorithmforrevis.pdf

        Reply

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