Covid-19: New guidelines issued for travellers to India from UAE


The government of India has issued a new set of guidelines for international travellers coming from or after transiting through flights originating from United Kingdom, Europe and Middle East. The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare devised the new regulations which supersedes the protocols listed on August 2020, the Ministry tweeted Wednesday evening.

The regulations aim to segregate travellers arriving from the UK, Brazil, and South Africa due to the new strain of Covid-19 in these countries.

The regulations come into effect from February 23. It mandates airlines to identify international travellers arriving from or transiting through United Kingdom, Brazil and South Africa during the past 14 days and segregate the travellers in-flight or while disembarking to facilitate the authorities to follow the due protocol in respect of these travellers.

All the travellers arriving from or transiting through flights originating in United Kingdom, Europe or Middle East shall be mandatorily subjected to self-paid confirmatory molecular tests on arrival at the Indian airports. “Entry made in the self-declaration form (SDF) regarding telephone number and address would be reconfirmed,” stated the standard operation procedures (SOPs).

«Adequate arrangements for passengers waiting for their confirmatory molecular test as well as test results duly following effective isolation may also be made at the airports in conjunction with the airport authorities,» it said.

A copy of the SOP has been studied by Khaleej Times.

Currently, all regular commercial international flight operations remain suspended. International flights are allowed to operate between countries that have air bubble agreements to operate flights between them. At present India has bilateral agreements with at least 24 countries which include the UK but excludes Brazil and South Africa, which means there are no direct flights between the countries.

Pre-departure protocols

All international travellers coming in transiting from flights originating from United Kingdom, Europe and Middle East should submit SDF for Covid-19 on the online Air Suvidha portal ( before the scheduled travel and will be required to declare their travel history (of past 14 days).

All the passengers arriving from the Middle East shall be carrying negative RT-PCR Test report for which test should have been conducted within 72 hours prior to undertaking the journey. The same also shall be uploaded on the online portal (

International travellers on short stay

International travellers planning a short stay (less than 14 days) to India and who have tested negative and remain symptom free, shall undergo all the pre and post-departure procedures as and shall be permitted to leave India under proper intimation to their district or State health authorities, subject to them fulfilling the requirement of the airlines and destination country.

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