How to go to India from the US during COVID-19

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February 23, 2021

How to go to India from the US during COVID-19

A Woman At Airport

Exploring the world is on the bucket list of almost every person in the world. Soaking in the beauty, language, culture and delicacies of the nations of the world is an experience no one should miss out on. Sadly, the only place each of us is exploring is the confines of our respective homes. The Covid-19 pandemic has globally united us all in our halt of travel plans.

Though being restrained in our homes has been tough for the travelers in each of us, we rationally understand its impact in the big picture. Thankfully, the world is gradually opening up and unlocking its gates for people of different nationalities as well. The current situation has posed several questions about the USA’s traveling restrictions and guidelines to India, and here’s all you need to know about it.

What are the Covid-19 testing regulations regarding traveling from the USA to India?

This is the first question that comes to mind whenever thinking about traveling to a foreign country.

  • A US national can easily access PCO and antigen tests in any facility, be it government or private, in India. So any traveler can roam about with the peace that they will get adequate medical help when they need it in India. 
  • The tests are quite reliably indicative of the Coronavirus contraction. Plus, they are made available in a maximum time frame of 72 hours. The only thing to keep in mind is that travelers will need to make appointments beforehand and for even faster results, private labs can also be contacted.
  • Any US traveler to India is free to call any doctor of their choice in India to get the tests done. In the case of first-time travelers or people with limited contacts, the facility of testing can be availed by contacting the Indian Council for Medical Research or by intimating the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare by the individual.

What are the entry and exit regulations for traveling from the US to India during the pandemic?

Though the speed of the world opening up to the idea of resuming normal operations has shifted gear, complete autonomy in traveling has not been allowed by the Indian government for people in the US. There the citizens are permitted to enter the territory of India for specific purposes. Short-term reasons like a vacation are still not valid for them. Certain types of travelers like people moving to reside in India or traveling for business purposes have been allowed by the Indian government. Some things to keep in mind regarding entry and exit are:

  • For anyone traveling to India, it is not necessary to have a negative test of Serology or PCR for COVID-19, but they will have to undergo quarantine. The negative test is a necessity for people boarding flights from the United Kingdom. So, the travelers for the US can breathe a sigh of relief. 
  • If you are traveling from the US to India, you will have to submit a form of self-declaration a minimum of 72 hours before departure.

What are the screening procedures in the airports while traveling from the US to India?

Yes, there are many ways through which people are screened for COVID-19 while traveling from the US to India. Upon arrival, the first way of screening can be a questionnaire filled by the traveler to disclose health concerns. There will also be thermal scanners in place, which may be manual or automatic. If a fever scanner shows feverish symptoms in any of the passengers, that person is escorted to a specified isolation area for further tests and evaluations.

The situation mentioned above can be difficult for a traveler, but it can go one of two ways. If the person’s lab test comes positive, he/she will be held in that facility until further arrangements are made. If two tests taken within an interval of 24-48 hours consecutively show negative results, the traveler is declared fit to travel after the symptoms subside.

What are the quarantine requirements for travelers from the US to India?

Every person traveling from the US has to serve a quarantine period of 14 days before being cleared to legally enter the land of India. There are no exceptions even for the residents of India or Overseas Citizens of India cardholders (OCI). The only exception is an exemption provided by the Health Ministry of India.

If you are an asymptomatic traveler, you may be asked by some Indian states to serve a quarantine period of 14 days before entering their state boundary. It is either that or a negative test result for COVID-19. This includes no getting out in a public space.

What is the state of transportation for US travelers in India?

There are government restrictions or international traveling because of which a lesser number of flights are available. There are some additional restrictions on the people who can book a ticket or board the flight. So, if your purpose fulfills the ones permitted by the Government of India, you can choose from the given limited options.

What if someone does not comply with the quarantine and safety regulations while traveling to India?

Any person who breaks the mandatory 14 days quarantine period will be punishable under the state government laws and the threat that person posed to the people. 

Any traveler found roaming the public spaces without a mask can be booked under non-compliance and fined as per the amount as decided by the state government regulations.

Of all the movies about traveling, the one that strikes a common chord with people worldwide is ‘Eat, Pray, Love.’ The portrayal of Julia Roberts’ character rightly depicts the beauty of the spiritual integrity of India for praying. In times like these, where many people, especially in the USA, are disheartened by the bondage of home and the frustration of loneliness, India seems like the perfect getaway from the USA. With these guidelines in mind, now anyone from the US can do so with ease.

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