NEW DELHI: India allowed fully vaccinated (with approved vaccinations) comers from 99 countries – including the USA, Great Britain, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, France and Germany – to travel quarantine-free in the country on Monday.
The decision comes because the country allows foreign tourists on non-charters. India suspended tourist visas last March and resumed them from October 15 by allowing them to be chartered.
Aside from a negative Covid report within 72 hours of departing for India, travelers from these 99 countries (called Category A) must also upload their fully vaccinated certificate on the Air Suvidha portal.
“There are countries that have an agreement with India on the mutual recognition of vaccination certificates for nationally recognized or WHO-recognized vaccines. Similarly, there are countries that do not currently have such an agreement with India but exempt Indian citizens fully vaccinated with nationally recognized or WHO recognized vaccines. On the basis of reciprocity, travelers from all these countries who allow Indians to enter quarantine-free will be granted certain facilities upon arrival (category A countries), ”reads the guidelines of the Union Ministry of Health dated November 11th.
For fully vaccinated from Category A countries, it says: “If a traveler comes from a country with which India has mutual agreements on the mutual acceptance of WHO-approved Covid-19 vaccines (Category A): leave the airport and monitor their health themselves 14 days after arrival. ”
Some countries are currently considered “at risk” (from a Covid perspective) by India, including countries in Europe including the UK, South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe and Singapore.
“Travelers from countries with the exception of the endangered countries are allowed to leave the airport and have to monitor their health themselves 14 days after arrival. This applies to travelers from all countries, including countries with which there are also mutual agreements for the mutual acceptance of WHO-approved Covid-19 vaccines, “it continues.
Fully vaccinated travelers from countries considered to be at risk but classified as Category A by the Department of Health, such as the UK, Singapore and Zimbabwe, are allowed to leave the airport and are required to self-monitor their health 14 days after arrival.
“The global course of the Covid-19 pandemic continues to decline with certain regional deviations. The need to monitor the ever-changing nature of the virus and the development of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs) must remain in focus. The existing guidelines (issued on February 17th, 2021 with the following amendments) for international entry into India were formulated on a risk-based basis. In view of the increasing vaccination coverage worldwide and the changing nature of the pandemic, the existing guidelines for international arrivals in India have been reviewed, “says the Ministry of Health, justifying the relaxation of international arrival standards.