India Rids Quarantine | Pre-Arrival Tests For Vaccinated Tourists

NEW DELHI: Come February 14, India will toss out mandatory quarantine and pre-arrival Covid PCR tests for all international travelers coming into the country.

In place of a pre-arrival negative PCR test result, the new requirement only calls for international travelers to submit their primary vaccination schedule completion certificate. This exemption is available to vaccinated travelers from 82 countries that also extend quarantine-free access to Indian nations. Such countries include Australia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, the Philippines, the US, and the UK.

India removes more barriers for international travel into the country; Indira Gandhi International Airport pictured

The announcement, made yesterday on February 10, is met with jubilation across India’s tourism and hospitality industry, with stakeholders confident that the move will send a positive signal in international travel markets.

Gaurav Bhatia, the executive director, Bird Group, told TTG Asia that he was glad to see the exit of mandatory quarantine, as the requirement had “resulted in many international travelers avoiding India”.

He now hopes that the government would resume scheduled international flights “as soon as possible to make the most of the relaxation of earlier curbs”, adding that “a significant improvement in inbound tourist arrivals this year” could be expected with both ease of entry and air accessibility in place.

Vishal Lonkar, general manager, brand development, Renest Hotels & Resorts, expects the new waivers to spur international business and leisure travel to India.

“We hope that our properties in Bangalore and Kolkata, which are near the international airport, will gain (business) momentum,” he added.

India’s easing of border restrictions would see the return of travelers from shorthaul markets first, opined Lally Mathews, managing director, Divine Voyages, as “travelers in Covid times have reservations about traveling long distances”. He added that inbound recovery would be more prominent in the next inbound season, starting October.

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