India has announced it will drop quarantine and testing on arrival for travelers. India’s Ministry of Health revised guidelines for international passengers entering India from February 14.
India reopened for tourism in 2021; however, the Omicron variant led to India placing a mandatory 7-day quarantine and testing on arrival for all international travelers. Subsequently, very few tourists have entered India since March 2020.
India’s New Entry Requirements
Traveling to India from February 14 will be far easier. The Indian government has dropped mandatory quarantine for fully vaccinated tourists. Instead, they all ask tourists to monitor their health for symptoms for 14 days after entry. India has also scrapped the mandatory COVID-19 test on day 8.
However, all travelers should submit a factual self-declaration form on the online Suvidha portal before departure; this must include travelers’ last 14 days of travel and which countries they’ve visited within that period.
Travelers from specific countries have two options before departure:
- Upload a negative RT-PCR test report conducting a maximum of 72 hours before departure
- Upload proof of vaccination from COVID-19
Travelers from the United Kingdom, United States, Australia, and Canada can use either of those two options alongside 78 other nations. The Indian government will randomly test 2% of all passengers on arrival. The airline will notify all travelers who require testing on arrival during the flight.
Unvaccinated travelers must:
- Submit a factual self-declaration form on the online Suvidha portal before departure
- Upload a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR report a maximum of 72 hours before departure
Amit Kishore, a travel industry veteran and founder of 2hub stated: “The removal of mandatory 7-day quarantine for arrivals is a big reprieve for the travel industry which, for two years, has been receiving one brutal blow after another during Covid,”
“It has been a particularly anguishing journey for the industry and it now waits for the resumption of regular international flights. This is perhaps the single most important thing required for the resumption of travel,”
“The announcement of regular international flights resuming should be made at the earliest as airlines also take time to deploy aircraft on routes that open up and people need time to book. That will go a long way in kick-starting the industry and improving overall business,” Kishore added.
The COVID-19 Situation In India
COVID-19 cases are rapidly decreasing in India. The current 7-day case average is 83,346. That’s a sharp decrease from 309,011 only 6 weeks ago. India has currently fully vaccinated 54.2% of its entire population.
The Current Internal Restrictions In India
As Omicron cases continue to decrease, Indian states are relaxing restrictions on night and weekend curfews and reopening educational facilities. However, some states may still require COVID-19 tests to enter. Travelers may experience random testing at restaurants, shopping malls, and airports.
The wearing of face masks is mandatory in all public places, regardless of vaccination status. India has also limited large gatherings, and the local authorities may penalize tourists for breaking the restrictions. All trains and metro services are running again.
All essential services—such as ATMs, groceries, and pharmacies—are open again without restrictions. Before traveling around India, because of the vastly differing restrictions between states, travelers should check the latest restrictions in those states.
India’s drop in travel restrictions continues the trend of Asian destinations reopening in early 2022.
After two years of closure, various Asian nations—such as Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, The Philippines, and Singapore—are reopening their borders for travelers (albeit with certain restrictions.)
This is great news for the travel industry, even if these nations are still behind Europe in terms of fully relaxing travel rules.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com