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India drops testing and quarantine for fully jabbed travellers

From today, fully vaccinated British travellers no longer need a pre-travel test or to undergo quarantine when visiting India.

From 00.01 this morning, international visitors who can prove they have had two jabs or more of a recognised Covid vaccine will be able to fill in a pre-travel declaration form and “self-monitor” for the first 14 days of their trip – replacing the previous requirement to take a PCR test before travel and quarantine for a week. Under fives are exempt from the declaration form.

The Asian country also removed the requirement for a test on day eight after arrival.

The changes to travel rules were confirmed in a 10 February bulletin from India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Unvaccinated travellers must still take a pre-travel PCR test but no longer have to quarantine – they too can “self monitor” for two weeks.

The UK has been on India’s ‘At Risk’ list of countries since 20 December, with all nations on the list required to book a test just after arrival.

Prior to this latest rule change, Britons had to take a PCR test on arrival and quarantine for a week.

According to the Foreign Office, scheduled international flights to India remain suspended.

“A limited number of flights are currently operating between India and the UK under a bilateral agreement but these arrangements may be subject to change at short notice,” it advises.

Thirty-day tourist e-visas are currently being issued for leisure travel to the country.

India saw a spike in Covid-19 cases towards the end of January, with seven-day averages rising to 311,982 before dropping after 25 January. Around 54 per cent of the country has had two doses of a Covid vaccine at the time of writing.

The country had initially reopened to international tourists on 15 November, with a slew of testing and quarantine rules in place, but introduced the “At Risk” list to cope with the spread of Omicron.

Elsewhere, the Polynesian island of Tahiti has dropped its requirement for travellers to take a PCR test before departure; visitors can now take an antigen test before travel, as well as a free test on arrival.

Tunisia is also poised to relax its travel rules for vaccinated visitors from tomorrow. From 15 February, double-jabbed travellers may present their proof of vaccination or NHS Covid Pass in order to enter the country test-free – previously they had needed a negative result from a PCR or antigen test.

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