PCR requirements for India
Travelling to India? Here's what you need to know about India’s PCR requirements, COVID-19 regulations and visa restrictions.
Current rules and regulations for travelling to India
According to the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs, e-visas, tourist visas and medical visas are currently suspended. Only overseas citizens of India (OCI) cardholders, Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) cardholders and specific categories of foreign nationals are allowed to travel to India.
At the time of writing, most commercial flights to India are suspended. However, Indian nationals and eligible foreign nationals can travel via Vande Bharat flights or third country flights.
So, if you're an Indian resident, national or student who needs to return to India, you can. However, you'll need to register yourself with the Indian Missions in the UK and follow any additional instructions given by the Ministry of External Affairs.
A friendly reminder: travel restrictions and regulations change daily due to COVID-19. Before planning any trip, please check the latest regulations from The Foreign Office.
Which COVID test do I need to travel to India?
To avoid any nasty surprises, it's recommended that you book a PCR test within the 72 hours before your flight to India, and have the results with you upon arriving in the country.
PCR tests may also be available on arrival in India, but not all airports have testing facilities. That’s why it’s a much safer bet to order a test before your departure.
A negative PCR result won't exempt you from quarantine upon arriving in India, but it can help you avoid institutional isolation.
What COVID regulations apply when I enter/leave India?
Screening on arrival
All passengers arriving in India (by air, water or land) have to undergo a thermal screening procedure. If you exhibit symptoms, you will be immediately isolated and taken to the appropriate medical facilities.
Self-declarations and other requirements
Travellers to India have to submit a self-declaration either digitally within 72 hours before their departure, or physically at one of the health counters in the airport.
Make sure to download the Indian government’s track and trace app, too. Just like in the UK, this app helps monitor the potential spread of coronavirus in India and is a helpful way for the authorities to collect essential traveller information.
14 days of quarantine
Indian authorities require all new arrivals to spend 14 days in quarantine. You will have to spend 7 days in a paid-for facility and self-isolate elsewhere for another 7 days.
Travellers may be able to skip institutional quarantine by submitting a negative PCR result no more than 72 hours old. If you are granted permission, you will spend the entire 14-day quarantine period in self-isolation at a location of your choosing.
Self-quarantine upon returning to the UK
When you return from India to the UK, you will have to self-isolate for 14 days, since India is not on the UK's travel corridor list.
And, of course, remember to fill in the passenger locator form and avoid a hefty fee.
Confirm that you’re Fit to Fly with Corona Test Centre
If you have to travel to India, don't worry. The process might seem complicated, but there are ways to get there more safely.
To simplify your travel, book a Fit to Fly PCR test at Corona Test Centre.
Our Fit to Fly PCR tests are 99.9% accurate and they’re accepted by all major airlines and border controls. Appointments are available every 10 minutes, from 9am to 5pm, so you’re sure to find a slot that suits you. Book via our online portal today.