Visiting Family in India? Here’s What You Should Know About Covid-19 Restrictions
With the rising number of Omicron cases across the nation, the Indian government had issued a circular, effective from December 20, 2021, regarding international passengers entering the country via Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad.
So, if you’re planning a visit to India to visit your family, make sure you check the latest rules and regulations. This is just like checking the ongoing currency exchange rate before you transfer money from UAE to India. There are separate rules for different regions. Take a look at the restrictions imposed on people travelling to India from the UAE.
Rules for Travellers from the UAE to India
At the Time of Departure from the UAE
All passengers from the UAE need to take the COVID RT-PCR test and carry a COVID negative report with them. Apart from this, you will need to submit some documents, such as:
- A fully filled self-declaration form. This form is available on the Air Suvidha page on the website of the airport that you will be arriving at.
- You should have a printed colour copy of this form when you report at the airport for departure for India.
- You will also need to upload your vaccination certificate on the Air Suvidha web page and keep a printed copy with you while travelling.
- You will need to download the Indian government’s Aarogya Setu app on your mobile phone. This is a contact tracing app.
On Arrival in India
The procedure to follow on arrival in India, except for those arriving at the Mumbai airport is as follows:
- You will need to take the COVID test once again at the airport, at your own cost. You will only be allowed to leave once the results are negative for coronavirus. The only exception to this rule is for children below the age of 5.
- Those who test negative for COVID will be required to quarantine for 7 days and then take another test after that.
- Any passenger testing positive will need to follow the protocols of the state government.
If you are entering India via Kerala, the on-arrival COVID test is free of cost. Those who arrive at the Mumbai airport will need to comply with the following protocols:
- Although no RT-PCR test is mandated on arrival, a 7-day quarantine is required, with a test being taken on the 7th day after arrival.
- Passengers who test positive at this time will be required to be quarantined at an institutional facility.
- During institutional quarantine, an RT-PCR test will be conducted on Day 2, Day 4, and Day 7. The cost of these tests will be borne by the passenger.
COVID Protocols While You are in India
Both Delhi and Mumbai have put forth various restrictions on movement within the city. It is best to be aware of these rules to make the most of your time in India. For instance, on December 28, 2021, the Delhi government enforced a yellow alert in the national capital, associated with the Graded Response Action Plan. This includes night curfews, restrictions on the opening of shops for non-essential items and 50% seating capacity in public transport, such as buses and the Metro. Some of the other restrictions in Delhi include:
- In Delhi, while schools and colleges are shut, private offices are functioning at 50% capacity from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
- Restaurants are also allowed to operate at 50% capacity, from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm, while bars also need to ensure 50% capacity and remain open from 12:00 pm to 10:00 pm.
- Public spaces will remain closed, such as cinema halls, banquet halls, auditoriums, etc.
- A maximum of 20 people are allowed at weddings and funerals.
For those visiting Mumbai, some of the restrictions include:
- Only 50% capacity is permitted within closed auditoriums.
- Only 25% capacity for open spaces.
- People are advised to celebrate at home as the first option.
- People have been asked not to gather at public places, such as the Juhu and Chowpatty beaches, Gateway of India, Marine Lines, etc.
Since the situation is quite fluid, it is best to check the latest requirements a few days before you travel. You can find the information on the website of the airport through which you will be entering India. This is very similar to checking for the currency exchange rate before you transfer money from UAE to India.