Visitors coming to India from China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand will no longer be required to furnish a pre-departure Covid test report and upload a self-health declaration on the ‘Air Suvidha’ portal from February 13.
The government has taken this decision as these countries have been witnessing a sustained and significant decline in trajectory of COVID-19 cases in the last four weeks, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said.
In a letter sent to his counterpart in the Ministry of Civil Aviation Rajiv Bansal, Bhushan on Thursday said his ministry is updating its ‘Guidelines for International Arrivals’ in view of the decline in coronavirus cases. Further, according to the World Health Organisation’s latest situational update on COVID-19, a decline of 89 per cent in the number of newly confirmed cases in the past 28 days has been noted globally as compared to 28 days prior to that, he said. India continues to witness a declining trajectory of coronavirus cases, with less than 100 new cases a day being reported.
”In view of the above, this ministry is updating its ‘Guidelines for International Arrivals’, and dropping the existing requirements of pre-departure COVID-19 testing and uploading of Self-Health Declaration on Ministry of Civil Aviation’s ‘Air Suvidha’ portal applicable for international travellers coming from/via China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Republic of Korea, Thailand and Japan,” the letter said.
In order to monitor infections due to mutated variants of SARS-CoV-2 among international travellers to India, the present exercise of random testing of two per cent travellers irrespective of their country of origin upon arrival in India shall continue.
The Ministry of Health, as a part of its proactive yet graded public health response to COVID-19 management, has been updating ‘Guidelines for International Arrivals’ from time to time.