The Centre on Sunday issued new guidelines for passengers arriving in India via international flights amid the coronavirus pandemic. This supersedes the one issued on May 24 and will come into effect from August 8.

In a statement, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said that states can develop their own protocol for quarantine and isolation after assessment of passengers.

On Friday, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation extended the ban on international flights till August 31. The suspension was to end on July 31. However, the restrictions will not apply to all-cargo operations and flights approved by the aviation regulator.

While domestic flights resumed in India from May 25, the ban imposed on international flights is in place for more than five months from March 23.

Here are the new guidelines for international arrivals:

  • All travellers should submit self-declaration form on the website at least 72 hours before the scheduled travel.
  • They should give an undertaking on the website that they would undergo mandatory quarantine for 14 days ie seven days paid institutional quarantine at their own cost, followed by seven days isolation at home with self-monitoring of health.
  • Only for compelling reasons/cases of human distress such as pregnancy, death in family, serious illness and parent(s) with children of the age of 10 years or below, home quarantine may be permitted for 14 days.
  • If they wish to seek such exemption, they shall apply to the online portal ( at least 72 hours before boarding. The decision taken by the government as communicated on the online portal will be final.
  • Travellers may also seek exemption from institutional quarantine by submitting a negative RT-PCR or reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction test report on arrival. This test should have been conducted within 96 hours prior to undertaking the journey. The test report should be uploaded on the portal for consideration.
  • Each passenger shall also submit a declaration with respect to authenticity of the report and will be liable for criminal prosecution, if found otherwise. The test report could also be produced upon arrival at the point of entry airport in India.
  • All passengers shall be advised to download Aarogya Setu app on their mobile devices and only asymptomatic travellers will be allowed to board the flight after going through thermal screening. 
  • After arrival, passengers found to be symptomatic during screening shall be immediately isolated and taken to medical facility as per health protocol.
  • Post thermal screening, the passengers who have been exempted from institutional quarantine (decision as indicated on the online portal in advance) will show the same to the respective state counters on their cell phones/other mode before being allowed home quarantine for 14 days.  
  • The remaining passengers shall be taken to suitable institutional quarantine facilities, to be arranged by the respective state/ Union Territories government.
  • These passengers shall be kept under institutional quarantine for a minimum period of seven days. They shall be tested as per Indian Council of Medical Research protocol. If they test positive, they shall be assessed clinically.

Agreements made with five countries the United States, France, Germany, United Arab Emirates
and Kuwait allow Indian airlines to operate a limited number of non-stop flights to these countries. Separately, the Centre has been operating repatriation flights under the Vande Bharat Mission to bring back stranded citizens from abroad.