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Delhi Airport: Know all about the new guidelines for international flyers, RT-PCR test & waiting time

With the emergence of the new variant of coronavirus, named Omicron, the travel authorities are on their toes to stay alert and screen each passenger coming from other countries. Delhi international airport, on 1st December 2021, issued guidelines for international flyers deboarding here to take a connecting flight or leaving the airport premises.

Guidelines for International travelers

Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi is the country’s busiest airport, owning to the entrance to the capital city. The airport sees around xxx flights on and off daily.

In the wake of the Omicron variant, the authorities have made it mandatory to pre-book RT-PCR test for all the passengers flying from the ‘at-risk’ countries to the Delhi Airport.

What are at-risk countries?

As the news is emerging from other nations that the spread of the Omicron virus is sharply rising there, the union government has put these countries at at-risk and anyone traveling from here to India will have to undergo an RT-PCR test as soon as s/he lands at the airport.

The latest list of ‘at-risk’ countries is:

  • The European countries
  • The UK
  • South Africa
  • Brazil
  • Botswana
  • China
  • Mauritius
  • New Zealand
  • Zimbabwe
  • Singapore
  • Hong Kong
  • Israel

Not only this, any passenger traveling from the abovementioned country will have to undergo an RT-PCR test on the second, fourth, and seventh day besides getting tested at the arrival. It is to ensure if their bodies carry any sign of virus that develops over the days.

Any person found covid positive will be shifted to quarantine arrangements by the airport authority or a hospital, depending upon their symptoms and the urgency.

What about passengers arriving from other countries than at-risk countries?

To ensure strict screening of any international travel, passengers coming from other countries than at-risk ones will also have to undergo an RT-PCR test as soon as they arrive at the Delhi Airport. 14-day home quarantine is also advised and mandated for them.

RT-PCR test cost and waiting time at Delhi Airport

As the RT-PCR test is compulsory to take for every passenger arriving to or departing from the Delhi Airport and their movement depends on the test results, it is important to know about the types of RT-PCR test available with the cost and their report providing time.

Please refer to the table below:

  RT-PCR Rapid PCR
Cost INR 500 INR 3500
Results 8-10 hours 60-90 minutes

Important points to consider for every passenger

All travels must, without fail:

  • Submit a self-declaration form online before boarding a flight, on the Air Suvidha portal (https://newdelhiairport.in/airsuvidha/apho-registration) detailing their last 14-days travel journey.
  • Upload a recent (within 72 hours) COVID negative report.
  • Give the undertaking to abide by the rules (changing as per the covid developments) of local authorities to undergo home, institutional quarantine, as required.

Before boarding

  • Airlines to allow only those passengers who have submitted self-declaration forms on the Air Suvidha portal
  • Only asymptomatic passengers will be allowed to board the flight after the thermal screening.
  • To follow strict guidelines provided along with the ticket.

During Travel

  • To co-operate with the in-flight crew and follow all the protocols during transit.
  • Passenger to be safely isolated if found with symptoms of COVID-19 during the flight, as assessed by the designated crew.

On Arrival

  • Self-declaration form to be shown to the airport health officials
  • Anyone found symptomatic while thermal screening shall immediately be isolated and undergo an RT-PCR test. If found positive, will be quarantined as per health protocol, after informing their family.
  • People arriving from ‘at-risk’ countries should submit their samples for the RT-PCR test (self-paid) and wait for the results to be out before taking any connecting flight or leaving the premises.
  • If tested negative, they shall self-quarantine for 7 days and should again undergo another RT-PCR test on the 8th day, following which, they should isolate and monitor themselves for another 7 days.
  • If such travelers are found positive, their samples should be sent to genome sequencing test to the designated lab and will be isolated at a separate facility as per the standard procedures.
  • For passengers arriving not from at-risk countries, 2% of total passengers will be selected and escorted to the testing area on arrival and will undergo RT-PCR test, that cost of which should be borne by themselves.
  • If found positive, they will be treated and managed as per the standard procedures.
  • Kids under 5 years of age are exempted from pre and post-arrival testing. In case they are identified as symptomatic, they will be managed as per the laid protocol.
  • It will also be closely monitored who are the close contacts of anyone found positive or suspect to covid-19 symptoms. All people sitting at 3 rows in front and 3 at the back of the suspect will be the contact and should get tested and isolated as per the guidelines.
  • The government further notifies that the situation is developing, and to ensure risk assessment, they will review the guidelines from time to time. Also, to ensure ease-of-operations, airport authorities have provided the option to pre-book the RT-PCR test for passengers coming from ‘at-risk’ countries as they have to mandatorily undergo testing. It will help save their time.

Even the private diagnostic labs are making the testing easy and accessible for people arriving or living in Delhi. SpiceHealth, for instance, is one of the fastest-growing diagnostic companies that is backed by SpiceJet, offering the most affordable covid-19 test. Their RT-PCR test price in Delhi is INR 299*. Providing mobile testing labs, home collection services, and walk-in centers, you can book your test instantly and at your convenience

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