The Union Health Ministry announced that India has signed agreements for mutual recognition of vaccines with 11 countries, including the UK, France, and Germany.
Fully vaccinated travellers from these countries will not have to undergo home quarantine and can leave the airport without testing. However, they need to carry a negative RT-PCR test report upon arrival.
Travel restrictions are eased for people from Nepal, Belarus, Lebanon, Armenia, Ukraine, Belgium, Hungary, and Serbia as well. Travellers are advised to self-monitor for symptoms for two weeks post-arrival.
If travellers are not fully or partially vaccinated, they will have to undertake a Covid-19 test at the airport and home quarantine for seven days. They are also supposed to test again on the eighth day. If tested negative, they should still keep an eye on their health for symptoms over the next week.
"The need to monitor the continuously changing nature of virus and evolution of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs) must still remain in focus. In view of increasing vaccination coverage across the globe and the changing nature of the pandemic, the existing guidelines for international arrivals in India have been reviewed," said the government statement.
South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, and Zimbabwe are considered countries at risk. Travellers from these nations will have to follow additional measures upon arrival. The Union Health Ministry said that the global trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to decline with certain regional variations.
Airlines and airports need to comply with the new guidelines. The standard operating procedure shall be valid from October 25. The guidelines will be reviewed from time to time based on risk assessment.