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COVID guidelines update: India makes mandatory pre-departure RT-PCR test report for international passengers

Airlines are directed to modify their check-in functionalities to incorporate the changes and issue boarding passes only to those international passengers travelling whose pre-departure RT-PCR tests are negative.

Edited By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 New Delhi Published on: December 30, 2022 13:22 IST
Representational Image
Image Source : AP Representational Image

COVID guidelines update: The Ministry of Civil Aviation on Friday issued revised Covid guidelines for passengers arriving on international flights, ahead of the RT-PCR negative test report being made compulsory for travellers from six countries, including China and Thailand. From January 1, 2023, a pre-departure RT-PCR negative test report will be mandatory for passengers coming on all international flights from China, Singapore, Hong Kong, the Republic of Korea, Thailand and Japan.

Airlines are directed to modify their check-in functionalities to incorporate the changes and issue boarding passes only to those international passengers travelling from the six countries who have submitted self-declaration forms on the Air Suvidha portal, the ministry said in a communication.

"Air Suvidha portal self-declaration has been made operational for passengers travelling on all international flights from China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Republic of Korea, Thailand and Japan, with a provision to allow these international travellers arriving in India to upload negative RT-PCR test reports as well as to submit self-declaration form," it said.

Random testing of passengers will continue

RT-PCR testing should have been done 72 hours prior to undertaking the journey. The current practice of random testing of 2 per cent of arriving passengers in each international flight will also continue.

These decisions have been taken amid rising cases of coronavirus infections in various parts of the world and reports regarding the circulation of variants of SARS-CoV-2 in the six countries. The ministry on Friday sent the communication regarding the revised guidelines to all scheduled commercial airlines, airport operators, and chief secretaries/ administrators of states/Union Territories, among others. On December 29, there were 83,003 international passenger arrivals, as per the latest official data. 

(With inputs from PTI)

Also Read: Nearly half of two Chinese passenger flights test positive for COVID-19 after landing in Italy: Report

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