The Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has mandated the contactless self-declaration through the Air Suvidha portal to ensure the smooth passage of international travellers in India. With the resumption of international travel post the COVID-19 outbreak, the government had launched the first-of-its-kind Air Suvidha portal last August. The portal has now been enhanced to accommodate the latest travel guidelines issued on 30th November 2021.
The objective of launching the Air Suvidha portal was to provide hassle-free, queue-free, and convenient air travel to international passengers arriving in India. The portal helps passengers give details of their travel and final stay, RTPCR details, vaccination status, etc. It also allows state officials in contact tracing.
A press release by the Ministry of Civil Aviation has said that to prevent the outbreak of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, the exemption forms on the Air Suvidha portal have been discontinued. International travellers arriving in India are now expected to compulsorily fill in all details, declare their current health status, and submit the required documents.
The documents include a copy of their passport, a negative PCR certificate with the test conducted within 72 hours of departure, as well as the vaccination certificate. To clear immigration, the copy received via e-mail must be provided on arrival in India and will be verified at the Airport Health Organisation (APHO) counter.
The release also stated that the applications from ‘at risk’ countries would be marked with an ‘H’ and a red band, while the others are green, which will help the smooth segregation and processing of passengers arriving. The application will consider the countries visited in the last 14 days to highlight the ‘at risk’ applications. Travellers coming in from ‘at risk’ countries are advised to pre-book their COVID-19 tests on arrival. The link to the respective testing facility will be provided to them on submitting the self-declaration form.
This is the protocol to be followed by all international passengers before arriving or transiting from countries at risk:
- Fill in and submit the self-declaration form on the Air Suvidha portal.
- Upload a negative RT-PCR report (conducted within 72 hours before the journey).
- Post-arrival, get a COVID-19 test done at the arriving airport. The test will be self-paid.
- Quarantine at home for seven days.
- Get a re-test done on the eighth day. If the re-test is negative, undertake self-health monitoring for the next seven days.
As of 6th December 2021, the countries marked at-risk are the European countries (including the UK), South Africa, Brazil, Botswana, Ghana, Mauritius, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, China, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Israel. Passengers are advised to check the updated list of countries before they travel.
The portal has assisted over 2.5 lakh passengers between 1st to 5th December 2021, post the updating of the new travel guidelines, and over one crore passengers have benefitted from the portal since its launch in August 2020.
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Athena is a globe-trotter whose aim is to see 30 countries before she’s 30. When she’s not travelling, she’s busy planning her next trip. She’s a Chartered Accountant by profession with a keen focus on GST. She writes by day and reads by night.