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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 6 March 2021

UAE travellers required to pay for Covid-19 test on arrival in India under new rules

Passengers on flights from the Middle East must declare their travel history over the past 14 days

Travellers on direct flights from the UAE and the rest of the Middle East will be required to pay for Covid-19 PCR tests on arrival in India from Monday.

Passengers from South Africa, Brazil, the UK and other parts of Europe will also be subject to the new guidelines.

Travellers from South Africa, Brazil and the UK also face stricter rules on transiting and home quarantining.

The Indian Ministry of Health announced it had updated travel regulations as a safeguard against "at-risk travellers" entering from countries where Covid-19 mutant variants had been detected.

"All travellers arriving from and transiting through on flights originating in the United Kingdom, Europe or the Middle East shall be mandatorily subjected to self-paid confirmatory molecular tests on arrival at Indian airports," the ministry stated.

All travellers arriving from and transiting through on flights originating in the United Kingdom, Europe or the Middle East shall be mandatorily subject to self-paid tests on arrival

India's Ministry of Health

Passengers travelling to India from the UAE are still also required to present a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours prior to their flight.

PCR tests were already required in some cities and states in India – such as Mumbai, Maharashtra and Kerala.

This will be extended to passengers arriving across India from the countries identified to "minimise the importation of mutant strains", the ministry said.

Passengers who arrive or transit from flights originating in the Middle East, the UK and Europe will need to fill in a form declaring their travel history over the previous 14 days.

They will also be required to submit details about connecting flights and their final destination in India.

Airlines have been told they should inform passengers to allow eight hours in transit when booking a connecting flight.

Direct travellers from the Middle East and mainland Europe will be allowed to exit the airport after taking the test. They will receive the results from state authorities or airport operators.

If they test positive for Covid-19, these travellers will be required to undergo treatment.

If the test is negative, they will be asked to monitor their health for 14 days.

All travellers who enter from the UK, Brazil and South Africa who test negative must still home quarantine for seven days. There will be regular checks by the state contact tracing teams, the ministry said.

They will be tested again after a week and released from quarantine if the test is negative. State officials will continue to monitor their health for another seven days.

Strict rules for some transit passengers

Passengers who arrive in India on flights that originate in Brazil, South Africa and the UK, and are booked on connecting flights, will need to remain at designated areas in the airport.

They can leave this zone only after a negative result. It may take up eight hours to obtain a result.

Travellers from Brazil, South Africa and the UK who test positive at the airport, or later during home quarantine, will be isolated at an institutional facility assigned by the state health authority.

The patient will remain at the isolation unit until the test sample is negative.

All contacts of travellers from the UK, South Africa and Brazil who test positive for Covid-19 will be asked to go to institutional quarantine centres.

Contacts are fellow passengers seated within three rows of the positive case.

The Indian government has asked airlines to insist all passengers have completed a self-declaration form listing their travel history and uploaded a negative PCR test report on the Air Suvidha portal www.newdelhiairport.in

Updated: February 22, 2021 09:50 AM

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