Covid-19: Updated Travel Guidelines for Passengers Travelling Between India and UAE

India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, on October 20, issued a revised travel advisory for Covid-19, expecting international travellers to follow them before entering the country.   

Effective from October 25, under the new guidelines, all international passengers must submit the self-declaration form on the digital Air Suvidha portal before departure. Each traveller needs to submit a declaration concerning the report’s authenticity and will be liable for criminal prosecution if found otherwise. They must submit the declaration either to the portal of the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India, through concerned airlines before undertaking the journey so they would abide by the decision of the appropriate government authority to go under home quarantine or self-health monitoring, as warranted.  

All passengers will also have to upload a negative Covid-19 rapid PCR (Reserve Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction) report that should have been taken within 72 hours before undertaking the journey.  

Before boarding from the UAE, airlines are allowed boarding to only those passengers who have filled out the self-declaration form on the Air Suvidha portal and uploaded the negative RT-PCR test report. Only asymptomatic travellers are allowed to board a flight after a thermal screening. All passengers have been advised to download the Aarogya Setu app on their smartphones.  

Once the boarding is done, in-flight announcements about Covid-19, including preventive measures that require to be followed, should be made at airports, in-flight and during transit. During the flight, the cabin crew needs to make sure that appropriate Covid-19 behaviour is followed throughout.  

If any passenger is found symptomatic of Covid-19 during the flight, s/he should be isolated as per Covid-19 protocols.  

Upon arrival, deboarding should be done, maintaining physical distancing. Thermal screening requires to be carried out by the airport health personnel for all passengers. If any passenger reports symptoms of Covid-19 during screening should be immediately isolated and taken to a medical facility as per health protocol. If tested positive, their contracts should be identified and managed as per guidelines. The self-declaration form filled in digitally needs to be shown to the airport health staff.  

Once thermal screening is done at the airport, passengers need to take an RT-PCR or molecular test at the airport in India. The cost for Covid-19 RT-PCR varies from Rs 600 to Rs 2,500. It depends on the airport and health service provider.  

Quarantine Requirements   

As per the quarantine and self-monitoring of health guidelines, passengers from the UAE and the UK, Brazil, and South Africa are advised to quarantine at home for seven days. They must take an RT-PCR test for Covid-19 on the seventh day of arrival. If they test negative, they will no longer have to be quarantined, but they will be under surveillance for the next seven days.  

For passengers who are travelling to Mumbai, they must submit a self-declaration form and undergo a mandatory 14-day home quarantine.  

Returning to UAE from India  

If you are a UAE residence visa holder and returning to the UAE from India, you must ensure that you follow the below guidelines:  

  • You must have approval from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs Dubai (GDRFA) or the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, Customs and Port Security (ICA) to cross the UAE borders. If another Emirate issues your residence visa, you would need to apply for an ICA approval.  
  • You will be required to show a negative RT-PCR test report with a QR code for a test conducted within 48 hours of departure.   

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