March 22, 2021: With immediate effect this March 21, the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai eliminated the mandatory 7-day institutional quarantine for the Maharashtra-bound vaccinated travelers arriving from or transiting through Europe (including the UK), the Middle East, Brazil and South Africa. From December 21, 2020 till March 20, 2021, travelers originating from or transiting in any of the aforementioned countries had been subjected to institutional quarantine upon arrival at Mumbai International Airport though they were asymptomatic and had a negative RT-PCR report.
If you have been inoculated with both doses of an approved COVID vaccine, you can seek exemption from institutional quarantine and exit the airport on production of your vaccine certificate to the satisfaction of the airport staff. However, it does not eliminate the RT-PCR testing that you need to undergo not more than 72 hours prior to undertaking the journey. You may have to give your swab sample for a molecular test on arrival – which the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) advisory is not clear about.
Mumbai’s municipal corporation authorities request the vaccinated travelers from abroad to home-quarantine themselves for a week though it is not mandatory. Notably, following the other rules such as social distancing and wearing face masks in public places is still compulsory.
The week-long institutional quarantine on arrival in Mumbai is still mandatory for non-vaccinated travelers arriving from or transiting through Europe (including the UK)/Middle East/Brazil/South Africa if their final destination is within the state of Maharashtra. On the 7th day of their stay at institutional quarantine facilities, they will be tested. If the result is negative, they will be discharged and advised 7-day home quarantine. They will have to give an undertaking with their consent to 7-day home quarantine. If they test positive again, they will be shifted to a hospital for COVID treatment.
The below policy applies to non-vaccinated international arrivals traveling to outside of Maharashtra from Mumbai.
Though you arrive from or transit in Europe/South Africa/Middle East/Brazil, you will be able to take a connecting domestic flight without institutional quarantine in Mumbai if your final destination is outside of Maharashtra. You can avail this relaxation only if you tick the boxes – you are asymptomatic; you have a pre-arrival negative RT-PCR report uploaded onto Air Suvidha; you take a molecular test upon arrival.
The relaxation from institutional quarantine is available in two categories. If you are traveling from or transiting in the UK/Brazil/South Africa, you can take a connecting flight to the final destination outside Maharashtra only after you receive the negative result of a molecular test at Mumbai Airport.
If your flight to Mumbai originates from or transits in the Middle East or Europe (other than the UK), you will be allowed to take a connecting flight for onward domestic travel without having to wait for the result of a molecular test at Mumbai Airport. If your itinerary, to say from USA to Mumbai, includes transit in the Middle East or Europe (except the UK), you will be able to travel outside the state of Maharashtra right after giving your swab sample for a molecular test at Mumbai CSMI Airport. The test result, negative or positive, will be communicated to you.
Despite your non-vaccinated status, you are eligible for exemption from institutional quarantine and taking a molecular test on arrival, If you are traveling on direct flights to Mumbai from USA or any other country except the Middle East, Europe (including the UK), Brazil and South Africa, provided you are asymptomatic and have a pre-arrival negative RT-PCR report uploaded on Air Suvidha. You can exit Mumbai Airport or take a flight for onward domestic travel.
Exemption from institutional quarantine for Maharashtra-bound travelers:
Usually, institutional quarantine is compulsory for Maharashtra-bound travelers arriving from or transiting in Europe/Middle East/South Africa/Brazil, as per Mumbai’s policy for non-vaccinated international arrivals. The new SOP with regards to institutional quarantine in Mumbai allows exemption in certain cases, such as pregnant woman, senior citizens above 65 years needing assistance/support, parents accompanying children below 5 years of age, passengers having serious medical conditions (physical disability, cancer, mental illness, etc.), and extreme family distress (death-like emergency or any of immediate family members in critical condition). Exemption is subject to approval on condition of providing valid documents to the satisfaction of the In-charge officer at Mumbai International Airport. Please note you will have to take a pre-arrival RT-PCR test, upload the negative report onto Air Suvidha, and give your swab sample for a molecular test upon arrival.
Express RT-PCR Test at Mumbai CSMI Airport
Following the directive issued by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Mumbai International Airport got a 24/7 COVID19 testing facility for all travelers from abroad. The express RT-PCR test center near the exit gates of Terminal 2 delivers results, in both digital and physical formats, within 8 hours and charges Rs 1600 per person. International arriving passengers can register on www.suburbandiagnostics.com and book slots online for testing or enroll for the COVID-19 test at the help-desk set up at the arrival terminal of Mumbai airport. There is a dedicated lounge with necessary refreshments for those waiting for the RT-PCR test results. Those who test negative can continue to travel onward, with a stamp for home quarantine at the final destination. In case of positive results, passengers are shifted to a designated quarantine facility from the airport.
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