Do travellers from the UAE still need a PCR test to enter India?

The country has scrapped testing requirements for travellers from 87 countries, as well as those who received their vaccine doses in India

Travellers who have two doses of a vaccine administered in India can enter the country from the UAE without a PCR test, Air India Express says. Photo: Wikimedia Commons / Aero Icarus
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India has updated entry requirements for incoming travellers, removing the need for vaccinated arrivals from certain countries to present a negative PCR test result on arrival.

Passengers who received both doses of their Covid-19 vaccination in India will also no longer need to present a negative PCR result, meaning Indian residents returning to the country from the UAE are exempted from having to take a test when leaving the UAE. Passengers who received their vaccine in the UAE will still need to show the results of a test taken no more than 72 hours before their arrival.

These rules were reiterated in a travel update from Air India Express, which states: “Passengers who have completed the full vaccination schedule of both doses in India are exempted from RT-PCR testing prior to departure to India from the UAE. All other passengers should carry a negative Covid-19 RT-PCR. The test should have been completed within 72 hours prior to the scheduled time of departure.”

Vaccinated travellers from 87 countries are now able to enter India without presenting a PCR test. These include Oman, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon, but not the UAE. “On the basis of reciprocity, travellers from only such countries which provide quarantine-free entry to Indians will be allowed for relaxation under certificate of completing full primary vaccination schedule of Covid-19 vaccination,” says the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare website. “Travellers from such countries only are considered for entry based on vaccination certificate and shall upload their full vaccination certificate on the Air Suvidha portal.”

All travellers arriving in India are required to submit a self-declaration form on the online Air Suvidha portal before they travel, which include details about their movements in the 14 days prior to arrival. All children under 5 are exempted from both pre-arrival and post-arrival testing. Adults may be required to undergo random post-arrival testing at the airport once their plane has landed.

These new rules come after India removed the need for seven-day mandatory home quarantine for passengers landing in India from abroad.

Updated: February 21, 2022, 4:17 AM
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