December 3, 2023

With a decline in the number of daily Covid-19 cases across several countries, India has now dropped the mandate to present a negative Covid-19 test report for international passengers arriving from China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea, Thailand and Japan. The changes were notified by the Union Health Secretary last week.

Centre drops 'Air Suvidha' for 6 countries

File photo of Covid-19 testing on an airport (PTI)

By India Today Web Desk: Beginning Monday (February 13), international travellers to India will not be required to present a Covid-19 test report or upload the ‘Air Suvidha’ form. The rules will be applicable to those arriving in India from China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea, Thailand and Japan, a notification by the Health Ministry stated.

However, two per cent random testing will continue for international travellers at airports.

Last week, the Union Health Secretary had written to the Secretary of Aviation, mentioning the updated guidelines for international arrivals.

“The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, as a part of its proactive yet graded public health response to Covid-19 management, has been updating ‘Guidelines for International Arrivals’ from time to time. In the last update, based on the increasing trajectory of Covid-19 and circulation of mutant variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in some countries, the Ministry had mandated requirements of pre-departure Covid-19 testing and uploading of Self-Health Declaration on the Ministry of Civil Aviation’s ‘Air Suvidha’ Portal,” the letter read.

“However, as has been witnessed in the last four weeks, these countries are witnessing a sustained and significant decline in the trajectory of Covid-19 cases. Further, as per World Health Organisation’s latest situational update on Covid-19, a decline of 89 per cent in the number of newly confirmed cases in the past 28 days has been noted globally as compared to 28 days prior to that. Meanwhile, India has continued to witness a declining trajectory, with less than 100 new cases/day being reported,” the letter read further.

“In view of the above, the Ministry is updating its ‘Guidelines for International Arrivals’, and dropping the existing requirements of pre-departure Covid-19 testing and uploading of Self-Health Declaration on the Ministry of Civil Aviation’s ‘Air Suvidha’ portal applicable for international travellers coming from/via China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Republic of Korea, Thailand and Japan.”

“In order to monitor infections due to mutated variants of SARS-CoV-2 among international travellers to India, the present exercise of random testing of 2 per cent travellers to India (irrespective of country of origin) upon arrival in India shall continue,” the letter stated.


Meanwhile, India reported 82 new coronavirus infections while active cases declined to 1,837, according to Union Health Ministry data updated on Monday.

The death toll rose by three to 5,30,753 with Uttar Pradesh reporting two fatalities and West Bengal recording one, the data updated at 8 am stated.

The total number of Covid cases was recorded at 4.46 crore (4,46,84,200).

The daily positivity was recorded at 0.14 per cent while the weekly positivity was pegged at 0.09 per cent.

The active cases now comprise 0.01 per cent of the total infections, while the national recovery rate has risen to 98.81 per cent, according to the ministry’s website.

The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to over 4.41 crore (4,41,51,610) while the case fatality rate was recorded at 1.19 per cent.

According to the website, 220.62 crore vaccine doses have been administered so far under the nationwide Covid-19 vaccination drive.


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