Arriving in India? You need a pre-booked RT-PCR Test before departure [Effective December 20]

Arriving in India? You need a pre-booked RT-PCR Test before departure [Effective December 20]

Given the emergence of Omicron, India had mandated testing on arrival and a 7-days home quarantine for those who arrive into India from countries designated as at-risk. The new rules were effective December 1, 2021.

Now, the Government of India has mandated that there will be a further requirement that this on-arrival RT-PCR test is pre-booked for passengers arriving from at-risk countries (or those who were in these countries in the past 14 days). For reference, the countries classified as at-risk at the time of writing this on December 15, 2021, are:

  1. Countries in Europe, including The United Kingdom
  2. South Africa
  3. Brazil
  4. Botswana
  5. China
  6. Ghana
  7. Mauritius
  8. New Zealand
  9. Zimbabwe
  10. Tanzania
  11. Hong Kong
  12. Israel

This system will be implemented on December 20, 2021, for those arriving at six airports: Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.

All airlines will be required to check the mandatory pre-booking of their passengers before boarding the flight. However, if they turn up without a pre-booking, they will have to book it at the airport itself before departure but would not be denied boarding.

Here is the order from the Government of India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation.


Effective December 20, 2021, all arrivals from at-risk countries into the six major airports of India will have to pre-book their RT-PCR/Rapid-PCR test on arrival before getting on their flight to India. If not done, they will have to do it at the airport before they can fly into India.

If you are flying into India from an at-risk country, take note and book that test before arrival itself.

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