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India removes pre departure testing

For arriving travelers, the rule’s repeal will feel like a very early Valentine’s Day present.

India will discontinue its necessary pre-departure testing requirements for all travelers arriving from or passing via China, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Thailand, and Japan as infection rates around the world continue to decline. Although this is encouraging news, the nation continues to randomly screen all arriving foreign visitors.

Eliminating the need for pre-departure testing

Prior to China’s anticipated reopening at the beginning of last month, India restored the requirement that all travelers from these nations submit a negative test record before entering the country. On January 1st, the rule went into effect.

Prior to departure, travelers from these nations had to upload their negative test results to an Indian government website called the “Air Suvidha” portal. Although inconvenient, this requirement was required, according to Msanuskh Mandaviya, India’s Health Minister, who stated the following:

The test should be taken no later than 72 hours after arriving in India. This is being done in light of the changing COVID-19 situation around the world. India is prepared to completely abolish the required requirement as of February 13 at 11:00 a.m.,

however, as the situation has stabilized globally and the number of cases has markedly decreased in these listed nations. To make it simpler for visitors coming to the nation for Aero India 2023 next week, the standards are probably also being lowered. It is now specified that: under the revised “Guidelines for International Arrivals”:

Given the drop in coronavirus cases, the ministry is no longer requiring international travelers arriving from/via China, Singapore, Hong Kong, the Republic of Korea, Thailand, and Japan to submit their self-health declarations and undergo COVID-19 testing prior to departure via the Ministry of Civil Aviation’s “Air Suvidha” portal.

Unlucky flights are mixed in with the mix

Despite the fact that the decision to eliminate the negative test requirement is ultimately positive, it should be emphasized that the change will not go into effect until 11:00 on February 13th. As a result, travelers must submit their negative test results to the portal if their flight is scheduled to arrive in India that day but the timings are earlier than 11:00.

These flights include Air India Flight A1 347, which departs Singapore for Chennai and is scheduled to arrive at 10:40. or the 05:10 scheduled arrival time of IndiGo aircraft 6E 1836 from Abu Dhabi to Delhi. Another instance would be the British Airways flight BA 139, which usually departs from London for Bombay and is scheduled to arrive at 00:10.

The fortunate ones, however, whose flights are expected to arrive after 11:00, will not be subject to any pre-departure testing requirements. However, regardless of flight cancellations or delays, it is preferable to submit the test results just in case as long as the expected arrival time in India is before 11:00.

Not all rules are changed.

Not all restrictions are being removed, though, as India will continue to demand at least 2% of all arriving passengers who are 12 years old and older, regardless of where they are from, to undergo random testing. The Health Ministry can keep an eye on potential infections that are probably caused by mutated variations, which is the justification for keeping this rule in place.

Even still, the elimination of even one regulation is progress because it will make travel far less expensive and tiresome for travelers. Without needing to confirm that entries were made, it will also be simpler for the airport workers.

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