Pre-book RT PCR test for international passengers traveling from 'at-risk' countries

DGCA is requested to issue advisory to all airlines to check mandatory pre-booking of their passengers before boarding the flight.

Pre-book RT PCR test for international passengers traveling from 'at-risk' countries
Image credit: Reuters

New Delhi: As per Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India guidelines states, all international travelers coming from 'at risk' countries will now have to compulsorily pre-book RT PCR test. 

This arrangement will start from 20th Dec 2021, and the Mandate pre-booking of RT PCR test by international passengers arriving at 6 major Indian airports: Delhi Airport Mumbai CSMIA Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport, Kolkata Chennai, Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru RGIA - Hyderabad.

Airlines have been advised to check mandatory pre-booking of their flyers before boarding the flight. Failure to do so, they may not be denied boarding, but it would be the responsibility of the airline to identify and accompany such passengers for testing at the airport. 

The undersigned is directed to refer to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW)'s guidelines dated 30th November 2021 and the subsequent Record of Discussion of the meeting held on 06.12.2021 with MoHFW, to inform that the following steps are to be implemented urgently:

1) Air Suvidha portal would be modified to allow the passengers to mandatorily pre-book the RT PCR test if they are coming from the countries 'AT RISK or have visited AT RISK' countries in the last 14 days. Link to the concerned airport website would be provided in Air Suvidha platform which would be displayed to passengers while filling up the self-declaration form (SDF).

2) To stabilize the system and to ensure that the passengers would not have any problem in pre-booking, payment, etc., it may be implemented in six metro cities, namely, Delhi, Mumbai Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad in the first phase

3) Considering the convenience of the travellers, a lead time of a week would be provided i.e., the new system to come into effect on the 20th of December (i.e., 19th December, 2021 at 11.59 pm onwards).

DGCA is requested to issue advisory to all airlines to check mandatory pre-booking of their passengers before boarding the flight. In case any passenger is having any difficulty in pre-booking, they may not be denied boarding, but it would be the responsibility of the airlines to identify and accompany such passengers to the registration counter at the airport for testing.

This has the approval of the Competent Authority.