-ve RT-PCR report mandatory for all international passengers coming to India

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New United States travel rules affect various countries, including India

New Delhi/Texas: The Ministry of Health on Wednesday mandated that all international passengers coming to India will have to upload a negative RT-PCR (polymerase chain reactiontest) report, and are required to fill a self-declaration form (SDF), if they wish to enter the country.

The COVID-19 RT-PCR report should have been conducted within 72 hrs prior to undertaking the journey. It has to be uploaded on the same portal. Each passenger shall also submit a declaration with respect to authenticity of the report and will be liable for criminal prosecution, if found otherwise.

At the time of boarding the flight, only asymptomatic travellers will be allowed to board after thermal screening. If fully vaccinated, they shall be allowed to leave the airport and are required to self-monitor their health for 14 days' post-arrival. If partially vaccinated or not vaccinated, the travelers need to undertake the following measures: Submission of sample for post-arrival COVID-19 test at the point of arrival after which they will be allowed to leave the airport, home quarantine for 7 days, and a re-test on the 8th day of arrival in India and if negative, further self-monitor of their health for next 7 days.

International travellers arriving through seaports/land ports will also have to undergo the same protocol except that facility for online registration is not available for such passengers currently. Such travellers shall submit the self-declaration form to the concerned authorities of government of India at seaports/land ports on arrival.

Meanwhile, the new US travel policy will block entry to foreign nationals who have recovered from Covid-19 and then gotten one dose of two-dose vaccines -- a standard that France and the European Commission consider full vaccination. The US announced that it would open its borders to vaccinated travelers beginning Nov. 8, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that would include "any combination of two doses" from two-shot vaccines. An agency spokeswoman confirmed that people with just one dose would be excluded, regardless of whether they've also recovered from COVID-19. That distinction could hobble travel plans across Europe, where people who've recovered and gotten one shot are considered fully vaccinated by some countries, at least for now. That standard is also one of the eligible scenarios for the EU digital Covid certificate, the bloc's widely accepted vaccine passport.

The US has never considered recovery from Covid-19 in its domestic definition of vaccination. US residents are required to have both shots of a two-dose vaccine or Johnson & Johnson's one-shot vaccine to be deemed fully vaccinated, regardless of whether they've contracted the virus. The Biden administration's plan to reject foreign travelers who've recovered but haven't received two shots, regardless of whether their home country considers them vaccinated, may become a fresh point of tension in the relationship between Washington and Europe -- and with France in particular.

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