However, two per cent random testing will continue for international travelers at airports. The Union Health Secretary has written a letter to the Secretary of Aviation in this regard for updating guidelines for international arrivals.
“Ministry of Health & Family Welfare as a part of its proactive yet graded public health response to COVID-19 management has been updating ‘Guidelines for International Arrivals’ from time to time. In the last update, based on the increasing trajectory of COVID-19 and circulation of mutant variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in some countries, the Ministry had mandated requirements of pre-departure COVID-19 testing and uploading of Self-Health Declaration on the Ministry of Civil Aviation’s ‘Air Suvidha’ Portal,” the letter reads.
“However, as has been witnessed in the last 4 weeks, these Countries are witnessing a sustained and significant decline in the trajectory of COVID-19 cases. Further, as per World Health Organisation‘s latest situational update on COVID-19, a decline of 89 per cent in the number of newly confirmed cases in the past 28 days has been noted globally as compared to 28 days prior to that. Meanwhile, India has continued to witness a declining trajectory, with less than 100 new cases/day being reported,” the letter said.
‘In view of the above, this Ministry is updating its ‘Guidelines for International Arrivals’, and dropping the existing requirements of pre-departure COVID-19 testing and uploading of Self-Health Declaration on the Ministry of Civil Aviation’s ‘Air Suvidha’ portal applicable for international travellers coming from/via China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Republic of Korea, Thailand and Japan.”
However, 2 per cent random testing will continue, “In order to monitor infections due to mutated variants of SARS-CoV-2 among international travelers to India, the present exercise of random testing of 2 per cent travelers to India (irrespective of Country of origin) upon arrival India shall continue.” The updated guidelines will come into the practice with effect from 11:00 AM on Monday, February 13, 2023.