Traveling to India becomes tighter, new rules to stop the spread of new variants



Indian union health ministry on Sunday, February 21, has issued new guidelines for international arrival amid the spread of mutant variants of Covid-19. The rules will come into effect from Monday, February 22, and will be in force till further orders.

“There is increasing evidence that the mutant variants of COVID-19 are in circulation in many countries and these mutant variants are driving the pandemic in their country of origin. So far, a UK variant, a South Africa variant, and a Brazil variant have been detected,” the health ministry said in its updated guidelines.

In an am to control the spread of these new variants and mutate further all international travelers are being requested to submit a self-declaration form for Covid on the online Air Suvidha portal before their scheduled travel.

Some of the rules noted by the officials are:

– Travellers will also have to upload a negative Covid-19 RT-PCR report on the online portal of New Delhi airport,, with a declaration form stating the authenticity of the report.

– The test must be conducted 72 hours prior to the journey. Only asymptomatic travelers will be allowed to board after the thermal screening.

– These rules shall also apply to international travelers arriving through seaports/land ports but online registration policy cannot be availed by them.

– International travelers arriving from/transiting through the United Kingdom, Brazil and South Africa (during the past 14 days) will have to be segregated by the airline in-flight.

– Self-paid confirmatory molecular tests on arrival will be mandatory for all travelers arriving from/transiting through flights originating in the United Kingdom, Europe or the Middle East. Such travelers will give their samples to the designated area before exiting the airport. If the test report is negative, they will be advised to self-monitor their health for 14 days. If the test report is positive, they will undergo treatment as per standard health protocol.