Do people traveling on air bubble flights from the USA and other countries have to undergo institutional quarantine on arrival in India?
‘Yes, they have to,’ said New Delhi IGI Airport authorities. All travelers flying to Indira Gandhi International Airport will have to be quarantined for 7 days at institutional facilities. Institutional quarantine is not only mandatory but also payable. New Delhi Airport’s institutional quarantine for international travelers apply to those having no onward connections to other part of the country.
Is Delhi Airport’s institutional quarantine protocol only for passengers of Air India flights under the Vande Bharat Mission?
“No. It equally applies to all inbound passengers, irrespective of the airlines they are traveling on to New Delhi,” said the spokesperson of Indira Gandhi International Airport. The passengers of Air India’s Vande Bharat Mission flights and the flights being operated by foreign carriers including United Airlines are bound to undergo 7 days of institutional quarantine if New Delhi is their final destination. However, there are certain exemptions.
Why should I undergo institutional quarantine on arrival at Delhi Airport if my residence is in Delhi itself?
Delhi has been next to Mumbai in numbers of positive COVID19 cases. New Delhi Airport has been the destination of maximum flights operated for repatriation of Indian nationals from different parts of the world. Currently, New Delhi is the main destination of Air France and United flights having onward connections in India. That’s why Delhi government has mandated 7-day institutional quarantine for all inbound passengers having no domestic connections. It has been in place since the beginning of repatriation flights to India. The 14-day institutional quarantine has been reduced to 7 days in the current phase of the Vande Bharat Mission.
Is there any COVID-19 testing facility at Delhi Airport?
Yes, New Delhi Airport opened a dedicated COVID-19 testing facility in Terminal 3 for international arrivals; and the 3500-sq-ft COVID test center has been operational since September 11. You can book a slot online (on Delhi airport website) for RT-PCR testing, at least, one hour before your scheduled arrival at New Delhi. You need to provide your name, contact details and a valid ID proof while booking a slot online. If you are traveling with family or in a group, you can book a single slot for the testing of all. The result is delivered in 4-6 hours. There is lounge service for those waiting for the result of their tests at the airport. The entire service from COVID testing to lounge is payable and it costs Rs. 5000 (Rs. 2400 for the test and Rs. 2600 for the lounge) per individual. If the result is negative, you can continue to travel onward. Be advised to check more details of COVID testing upon arrival at entry airports in India.
Are there exemptions to Delhi Airport’s institutional quarantine for inbound travelers?
Yes, certain inbound travelers are exempted from Delhi IGI Airport’s institutional quarantine protocol. Pregnant women, travelers with children below 10 years, travelers/senior citizens having serious health problems, and travelers having an emergency like death back home can seek exemption from the 7-day institutional quarantine on arrival at the airport. There is another way to get exempt from institutional quarantine in Delhi and other parts of India. If you carry a negative RT-PCR test report from the port of origin, you don’t have to undergo institutional quarantine. Please note the test must be taken within 72 hours prior to undertaking the journey to India.
If you fall into any of the four specific categories of inbound travelers, you need to fill out an undertaking form on the Air Suvidha section of Delhi Airport website or send it to firstname.lastname@example.org, along with valid documents as attachments in support of your exemption request. The documents include a copy of pregnancy proof for pregnant travelers, a copy of medical certificate for travelers having serious health issues, a copy of death certificate for travelers having a death-like emergency, and a copy of age proof if you are being accompanied by a minor.
“If you fall into one of the four exemption categories and are seeking to exempt from institutional quarantine in your final destination other than New Delhi, you need to send a copy of your flight ticket for the onward domestic connection from Delhi Airport, along with an undertaking form and a supporting document (mentioned above), to email@example.com before you travel to India,” said the chief travel advisor of Indian Eagle with regards to booking of flights to India under the air travel bubble.