Starting on February 14, 2022, international travelers to New Delhi are no more divided between ‘at-risk’ arrivals and ‘not-at-risk’ arrivals, as the government of India has done away with the classification of countries on the COVID-19 risk scale. New Delhi’s regulations for international arrivals are aligned with the relaxed guidelines that Indian government issued on February 10. Pre-departure RT-PCR testing and post-arrival home-quarantine have been rescinded for inbound travelers from as many as 87 countries including the US, the UK, Canada, Mexico, Ireland, New Zealand, Austria, Australia, Thailand, Oman, Qatar, Turkey, Malaysia, Maldives, and Singapore. We, at Indian Eagle, compiled some FAQs with regard to the impact of the new guidelines on your travel to New Delhi and your arrival at Delhi IGI Airport.
What’s the post-arrival procedure at Delhi International Airport for travelers from abroad?
The new guidelines for international travel to India make New Delhi Airport’s post-arrival procedure a lot easier than before. Your vaccination certificate/negative RT-PCR test report and the self-declaration form that you must fill out and submit on Air Suvidha before undertaking the journey will be duly checked and verified at Delhi Airport. Your travel history of the past 14 days prior to traveling to New Delhi will also be checked. New Delhi IGI Airport’s post-arrival procedure no longer includes a compulsory RT-PCR test, but you will be tested if thermal screening finds you symptomatic of COVID-19 or if you are among the 2% of total passengers selected for random testing.
Do I have to wait for the COVID-19 test result at Delhi Airport if I am found symptomatic in thermal screening or selected for random testing?
If you are found symptomatic of COVID-19 in thermal screening on arrival, you will have to take an RT-PCR test and wait for the report at the airport. If you are selected for random testing among 2% of the total passengers of the flight, you will be able to leave the airport or take a connecting flight after giving your swab sample. Hence, it is advisable to book an itinerary with 3 to 4-hr layover at Delhi Airport if your final destination requires you to take a domestic flight after arrival in New Delhi.
I am traveling on air bubble flights to New Delhi via Europe. Am I subject to an RT-PCR test on arrival at IGI Airport?
Transit through London/Paris/Germany does not subject you to an RT-PCR test on arrival at Delhi IGI Airport, as Europe is not on India’s list of ‘at-risk’ countries any more. As per the new guidelines for international travelers to New Delhi, you don’t need to take an RT-PCR test unless you are found symptomatic in thermal screening or randomly tested for COVID-19 on arrival.
What is New Delhi’s quarantine policy for international travelers?
Unlike before, there is no quarantine in New Delhi for international travelers who are either fully vaccinated or travel with a negative RT-PCR test report uploaded on Air Suvidha. The government of India has scrapped the home-quarantine policy in its new guidelines applicable from February 14, 2022. If you arrive asymptomatic, you shall only self-monitor your health for 14 days after arrival. You’re likely to be put under home-quarantine if thermal screening finds you symptomatic or if you test positive with mild symptoms on arrival at New Delhi International Airport.
Can I travel back within 7 days of my arrival in New Delhi?
New Delhi’s regulations for international arrivals allow asymptomatic travelers to fly back within 7 days of arrival. As per the new rules for travelers flying into India, you can travel any day after arrival if you continue to be asymptomatic during self-health monitoring. If signs and symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 develop in you after arrival, you won’t be able to travel back without testing negative. If you are put under home-quarantine for some or the other reason right from day one of arrival, you can’t travel back until completion of the home-quarantine period.
I need to travel on a last-minute flight to New Delhi for a family emergency. Can I travel without taking an RT-PCR test?
You can if you are fully-vaccinated and traveling from any of the countries that India is in agreement for mutual recognition of vaccine certificates. The US, the UK, Canada, Mexico, Singapore, Australia, Austria, Qatar, Oman, Israel, Thailand, Ireland, New Zealand, or Malaysia being your travel origin, you don’t need to take an RT-PCR test before traveling to India if you are fully-vaccinated. Do make sure to carry the original certificate and upload a copy on Air Suvidha, in addition to filling out a self-declaration form and disclosing your travel history of the past 14 days if there is any.
Your travel to India originating in the UAE, requires you to take an RT-PCR test and upload the negative report on Air Suvidha within 72 hours before scheduled departure even though you’re fully vaccinated.
I am an Indian passport holder. What airlines are operating air bubble flights to Delhi from USA?
Irrespective of what US visa you hold, you can travel on Air India, United Airlines, Delta Airlines, American Airlines, British Airways, Emirates, Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways and Turkish Airlines. You can choose to book either airline’s cheap flight tickets on IndianEagle.com.
I am a US citizen with an OCI card. What airlines can I travel on from USA to India?
If you are a US citizen with/without an OCI card, you can travel on British Airways, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Qatar Airways, Lufthansa, Etihad, and Emirates Airlines other than Air India, Air Vistara, and United Airlines (nonstop).