Indians travelers to India can take advantage of an exemption from institutional quarantine upon arrival as long as they provide a printed negative RT-PCR report and show they have registered on the online portal 72 hours before travel, according to a regional daily.

India’s Air India Express and Air India have updated the list of travel regulations for international travellers following the newly released guidelines by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on November 5. The negative test report for quarantine exemption must be dated to show that the test had been taken at least 72 hours before the scheduled travel, according to the guidelines.

According to the diplomat, SMS texts (reports) are not widely accepted in airports across India. As part of the new guidelines, passengers will be expected to quarantine themselves at home for 14 days or ‘self-monitoring of health’, as warranted, stressed the Ministry.

However, if during the person’s quarantine period, there are symptoms, he or she must visit a local health facility to go through a Covid-19 test and receive treatment.

“Arriving international passengers who want exemption from institutional quarantine or need to take a connecting flight to domestic destinations in India will have an option of getting an RT-PCR/ True Nat/ CBNAA T (including GeneXpert) testing done at the entry airport, wherever available,” stated the Air India Express in its blog.

“If the test results are negative in the report, the passenger will be permitted to take connecting flight to other domestic destinations in India without needing to be quarantined at the city of entry airport,” it added.

Other international arriving passengers tested negative and exiting from the city of entry airport would be exempted from the institutional quarantine, permitting them to proceed for home quarantine, as per the guidelines of State Government concerned.

To sum up the full procedures

Before Travel

Submit self-declaration form on the online portal at least 72 hours before travel or physically after arrival.

Give an undertaking to abide by the government rules to undergo facility/ home quarantine/ self-monitoring of health for 14 days or as warranted

For Exemptions

Apply online on for exemption from institutional quarantine at least 72 hours before boarding. An exemption can be sought only for reasons such as pregnancy, death in the family, serious illness and parents with children of 10 years. Fourteen-day home quarantine may be permitted in these cases.

Submit a negative RT-PCR test report – conducted within 72 hours prior to undertaking the journey. The test report has to be uploaded on the portal, and can be presented upon arrival.

Submit a declaration to verify the authenticity of the report, with a passenger liable for criminal prosecution if found to be faked.

Passengers without an RT-PCR negative certificate wishing to seek exemption from institutional quarantine has the option to undergo testing at the airport, wherever available.

Seven days’ institutional quarantine and seven days’ home quarantine is mandatory for passengers arriving in India without an RT-PCR report and are choosing not to opt for a test at the airport where the facility is available or is arriving at an airport where a testing facility is not available.