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Written by Meekha Elizabeth on August 5, 2020 Share on

Planning to come back to India? Here are some guidelines for you to keep in mind before planning your travel.

Government of India Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Sunday (August 2, 2020) issued fresh guidelines for international passengers arriving amidst the prevailing COVID-19 situation.

This comes after the Ministry of Home Affairs issued new guidelines ‘Unlock 3’ on August 1 for the opening of activities in areas outside the COVID-19 containment zones. 

The fresh guidelines for international passengers arriving at the Indian airports will be operational from August 8, 2020. It is also mandatory for the travellers to submit self-declaration forms on the online portal ( at least 72 hours before their scheduled travel.

NOTE: These guidelines will come into force from August 8, 12:01 am

Here are the new guidelines for international arrivals:

Credits: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

Before planning to travel :

  1. All travellers should submit self-declaration form on the website new Delhi at least 72 hours before the scheduled travel.
  2. 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.
  3. Only for compelling reasons/cases of human distress such as pregnancy, death in the family, serious illness and parent(s) with children of the age of 10 years or below, home quarantine may be permitted for 14 days.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

After reaching the Airport:

  1. Dos and Don’ts shall be provided along with the ticket to the travellers by the agencies concerned. 
  2. All passengers shall be advised to download the Arogya Setu app on their mobile devices. 
  3.  At the time of boarding the flight/ ship, only asymptomatic travellers will be allowed to board after the thermal screening. 
  4. Passengers arriving through the land borders will also have to undergo the same protocol as above, and only those who are asymptomatic will be enabled to cross the border into India.
  5.  Suitable precautionary measures such as environmental sanitation and disinfection shall be ensured at the airports. 
  6.  During boarding and at the airports, all possible measures to ensure social distancing to be ensured

During Travel

  1. Travellers who had not filled in self-declaration form on the portal shall fill the same in duplicate in the flight/ship and a copy of the same will be given to Health and Immigration officials present at the airport/ seaport/ Iandport. Alternatively, such travellers may submit self-declaration form on the online portal at arriving airport/ seaport/ Iandport as per the directions of the concerned authorities, if such facility is available. 
  2. Suitable announcement about COVID-19 including precautionary measures to be followed shall be made at airports/port and in flights/ships and during transit.
  3.  While on board the flight/ ship, required precautions such as wearing masks, environmental hygiene, respiratory hygiene, hand hygiene, etc. are to be observed by airline/ ship staff, crew and all passengers.

On arrival 

  1. Deboarding should be done ensuring social distancing. 
  2. Thermal screening would be carried out in respect of all the passengers by the Health officials present at the airport/ seaport/ Iandport. The self-declaration form filled online shall be shown (or a copy of physical self-declaration form to be submitted) to the airport health staff.
  3.  The passengers found to be symptomatic during screening shall be immediately isolated and taken to a medical facility as per health protocol.
  4. 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 modes before being allowed home quarantine for 14 days.
  5. The remaining passengers shall be taken to suitable institutional quarantine facilities, to be arranged by the respective State/ UT Governments. 
  6.  These passengers shall be kept under institutional quarantine for a minimum period of 7 days. They shall be tested as per ICMR protocol available at If they test positive, they shall be assessed clinically. 
    1. . If they are assessed as asymptomatic/pre-symptomatic/ very mild cases, they will be allowed home isolation or isolated in the COVID Care Centre (both public & private facilities) as appropriate. 
    2. Those having mild/ moderate/ severe symptoms will be admitted to dedicated COVID Health facilities and managed accordingly. If found negative, they shall be advised to further isolate themselves at home and self-monitor their health for 7 days. 
  7. In case, any symptoms develop they shall inform the district surveillance officer or the state/national call centre (1075).

The Union Government also stated that the States can develop their own protocols with regards to quarantine and isolation as per their assessment post-arrival of passengers in the states concerned.

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