Home / News / India /  Flying to India? New covid rules for international passengers from these countries kick in from 1 January 2023
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New Delhi: The Ministry of Civil Aviation has issued revised Covid guidelines for passengers arriving in international flights, ahead of RT-PCR negative test report being made compulsory for travellers from six countries, including China and Thailand.

Vistara airline has informed the passengers about the new rules effective from Sunday. From January 1, 2023, a pre-departure RT-PCR negative test report will be mandatory for passengers coming in all international flights from China, Singapore, Hong Kong, the Republic of Korea, Thailand and Japan.

"Air Suvidha portal self-declaration has been made operational for passengers travelling in all international flights from China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Republic of Korea, Thailand and Japan, with a provision to allow these international travellers arriving in India to upload negative RT-PCR test reports as well as to submit self-declaration form," it said.

RT-PCR testing should have been done 72 hours prior to undertaking the journey.

The current practice of random testing of 2 per cent of arriving passengers in each international flight will also continue.

World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said that the global body remains concerned over the evolving situation in China as the COVID-19 infections witness a new spike in the country after curbs were eased.

Tedros said that the WHO will continue to offer its support for clinical care and protect the shattering healthcare system of China.

"We remain concerned about the evolving situation and continue encouraging #China to track the #COVID19 virus and vaccinate the highest risk people. We continue to offer our support for clinical care and protecting its health system," Tedros wrote on Twitter.

Meanwhile, as many as 243 new cases of Coronavirus infection were reported in the last 24 hours, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare informed on Friday.

India's active caseload currently stands at 3,609 with the active cases at 0.01 per cent, according to the Health Ministry.

A top infectious diseases expert said it is unlikely that Covid will be completely eliminated but there seems little chance of a significant outbreak of the disease in India in the next two months.

"It is uncertain when or if Covid will become an endemic, but it is unlikely that it will be completely eliminated. We may see occasional outbreaks, if new mutations emerge, like in China. In India, it seems unlikely that there will be a significant new outbreak in the next two-three months," Koul said, PTI reported

The remarks of Dr Parvaiz Koul, director of the SKIMS Hospital in Kashmir, came in the backdrop of the highly transmissible Omicron strains, mostly BF.7, causing a spike in coronavirus cases in many countries, including China.

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