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Can I Travel To India?

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Can I Travel To India?

A new variant of Covid-19, known as Omicron, has sent countries scurrying to try and prevent the spread. Many countries have completely shut down their borders while others are sticking with tighter restrictions on travel for the time being. As the situation continues to evolve, the rules are short to change, possibly on short notice. Here’s what we know now about travel to India.

Can You Travel to India?

The answer: it’s complicated.

India recently reopened its borders to vaccinated international travelers, but because of the Omicron strain, they are implementing new restrictions in hopes to slow the spread.

India categorizes countries into high risk and low risk. Additionally, India has a vaccination agreement with several countries. This agreement is a compilation of nations which administer vaccines approved by the WHO. Requirements will vary depending on which category a country falls under.

As of December 1, 2021, India has designated the following countries as high risk. These countries include: South Africa, China, the United Kingdom, European countries, Bangladesh, Brazil, Botswana, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Hong Kong, Singapore and Israel.

U.S. citizens and citizens from other countries not considered high risk may enter India but will need to make sure to adhere to various criteria, which we will cover later on.

Testing and Vaccination Requirements to Enter India

All travelers flying into India must be vaccinated, regardless of risk designation.

Low Risk Countries

If you are entering from countries not considered high risk or that have a vaccination agreement with India, you must complete a Self Declaration Form at least 72 hours prior to departure. The declaration will need to include a log from the last 14 days of travel. You will also need to upload your proof of vaccination and negative Covid-19 test results.

After disembarking from the airplane, 2% of passengers will be randomly selected to undergo a Covid-19 test. Those passengers will also be responsible to cover the cost of this test. The rest of the passengers will be allowed to leave the airport without further testing required. Note that on a 300 person flight, this means that six people will be required to test at their own expense.

High Risk Countries

Fully vaccinated travelers arriving from countries considered “high risk” and that do not have a vaccination agreement with India will have to either self-monitor for 14 days post arrival. If unvaccinated, partially vaccinated or unable to verify your vaccination status, you must agree to a post-arrival Covid-19 test followed by a home quarantine for seven days.

Testing and Vaccination Requirements to Enter the United States From India

To enter into the United States from India by air, you must meet the following criteria, which will differ based on if you are a U.S. citizen or Non-U.S. citizen.

U.S. Citizens

Vaccinated

Vaccinated citizens will need to provide proof of their vaccination. In addition to proof of vaccination, travelers will need to present a negative Covid-19 test result. Tests for vaccinated citizens must be taken no more than three days before flight departure.

Unvaccinated or Unable to Verify Vaccination Status

Travelers who are unvaccinated or whose vaccination status cannot be verified will need a negative Covid-19 test. This test must be taken no more than one day before flight departure.

Exception

U.S. citizens who can show proof of having Covid-19 within 90 days of departure, proof being a positive test result and documentation of recovery, may also enter the United States.

Non-U.S. Citizens

Non-U.S. citizens are required to be fully vaccinated and must provide proof of vaccination. A negative Covid-19 test result prior to boarding must also be presented.

Requirements When Transiting India

For the most part, you can transit through India but there could still be hoops to jump through. If you have transited through a “high risk” country, you will be required to undergo the same protocol as all other passengers.

Passengers who have entered from a non-high risk country will not be subject to further testing or requirements.

Other Important Things to Know

The U.S. Embassy in India notes a face mask requirement in public, but news reports show compliance varying widely across the country. Some states are imposing a curfew or other restrictions on public gatherings. Travel from one state to the next may also require you to provide proof of vaccination and negative test results. Here are the recommendations from the Indian government to help keep you and others safe from Covid-19.

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