In view of the growing concern over #Omicronvariant of the novel coronavirus, India revised the guidelines for international travelers from both at-risk countries and countries not at risk. With effect from December 1, the new guidelines apply to international arrivals at New Delhi Airport. Delhi’s current post-arrival and quarantine rules for travelers from abroad are aligned with the government of India’s revised guidelines. We, at Indian Eagle, compiled some FAQs with regard to the impact of the 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 countries not at risk?
As of today, Delhi Airport’s post-arrival procedure is relatively simple for fully-vaccinated international arrivals from the countries not at risk. Your negative RT-PCR report, vaccination proof and self-declaration form that you must have uploaded on Air Suvidha within 72 hours prior to traveling to India will be duly checked and verified. Your travel history for the past 14 days prior to arriving in India will also be checked and verified. Usually, fully-vaccinated travelers from a country not at risk are exempt from additional testing at Delhi IGI Airport. However, only 2% of the total passenger of every flight from countries not at risk will be randomly tested for COVID-19. If you are among the 2% to be tested on a random basis, or if you are found symptomatic, you have to give your swab sample for a test. Once the sample is collected, you can exit the airport or board a connecting flight.
What’s Delhi’s quarantine policy for international travelers from the countries not at risk?
There is no institutional quarantine in Delhi for international travelers from the countries not at risk, such as the US, Canada, Mexico, the UAE, Qatar, Australia, Turkey, Sri Lanka and Thailand. If you are asymptomatic, fully vaccinated and found negative in random RT-PCR testing on arrival, you shall monitor your health for 14 days post arrival. Self-monitoring of health is unlike home/self-quarantine.
If you are found symptomatic in thermal screening despite being COVID-19 negative, Delhi’s guidelines require you to follow the home quarantine policy for 7 days.
Unvaccinated or partially-vaccinated travelers from the countries not at risk are required to undergo a self-paid RT-PCR test at New Delhi Airport, 7-day home/self-quarantine, and an additional test on day 8.
I am traveling to Delhi from a country not at risk. I have a connecting flight to Ahmedabad. What quarantine rules do I need to follow in my final destination?
New Delhi’s guidelines for international arrivals from the countries not at risk are aligned with the Ministry of Civil Aviation’s guidelines. All other states, except Maharashtra, follow the same rules we explained above. You need to comply with the above-mentioned rules in your final destination, be it Kochi, Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Mangalore, Jaipur, Chennai, Indore, Bhubaneswar, Vishakhapatnam, or Hyderabad.
I am fully-vaccinated and arriving from a country not at risk. Can I travel back within 7 days of my arrival in New Delhi?
It depends on what quarantine/isolation measures apply to you. If you are asymptomatic and COVID negative, you shall self-monitor your health for 14 days. Self-monitoring of health does not require you to quarantine or isolate yourself; hence, you can travel back within 7 days of arrival. If you are symptomatic despite being COVID negative, you must quarantine yourself indoors for 7 days. You cannot travel back unless you test negative on day 8 following home-quarantine.
What’s the post-arrival procedure at New Delhi Airport for travelers from a country at risk?
Your self-declaration form, negative RT-PCR report and/or vaccination proof that you must have uploaded on Air Suvidha within 72 hours prior to traveling to India will be duly checked and verified at Delhi Airport. Owing to traveling from a country at risk, you are subject to a mandatory RT-PCR test on arrival in Delhi, as per Indian government’s current guidelines. On being tested negative, you can go home or travel onward to the final destination where you will undergo home-quarantine for 7 days and take a COVID-19 test on day 8. On being tested positive right after arrival or on day 8, you will be shifted to a medical facility for COVID treatment.
I will travel from a country at risk, but I am fully-vaccinated and COVID negative. Am I exempt to post-arrival RT-PCR testing at Delhi Airport?
You are not. The same rules as explained just above apply to all travelers from a country at risk, irrespective of their vaccination status.
As I am subjected to post-arrival COVID-19 testing at Delhi Airport, can I pre-book an RT-PCR test online?
You can pre-book a test on the New Delhi Airport portal where you should select ‘International Arrival’ from the dropdown menu under ‘Travel Type’ and enter your SDF request number. You can book a regular or rapid RT-PCR test. A regular RT-PCR test costs Rs 500 per person, but the report is available within 6 to 8 hours. A rapid RT-PCR costs Rs 3900 per person and delivers the report in 60 to 90 minutes.
New Delhi IGI Airport’s 3500-sq-ft COVID-19 testing facility is located in the arrival area of Terminal 3. You can avail payable lounge service while waiting for the result of your RT-PCR test at the airport.
I am traveling to Delhi for an emergency. Is there exemption from taking a pre-arrival RT-PCR test?
Currently, there is no exemption. It is mandatory to take an RT-PCR test and upload the negative report on Air Suvidha within 72 hours prior to your scheduled travel on an international flight to New Delhi, as India’s pre-arrival guidelines for international travelers regardless of their age, travel purpose, vaccination, or country of travel origin.
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, and Emirates Airlines other than Air India, Air Vistara, and United Airlines (nonstop).