Delhi airport recently became the first airport in India to provide an on-arrival RT-PCR test facility for passengers arriving on international flights. Following Delhi's footstep, now Mumbai Airport has also announced on-arrival COVID-19 test for the passengers.
As per the SOPs laid down by Government of India, all passengers entering India have to produce a COVID-19 negative report, done 96-hour prior to boarding a flight. However, a recent update in the SOPs has allowed airports to perform on-spot RT-PCR test.
Now that Delhi and Mumbai airports have set up a COVID-19 testing facility for the international arriving passengers, here's all you need to know about the facility and how to avail the facility:
What are the updated testing guidelines
The earlier SOP for international arriving passengers with further connected domestic flight required a negative COVID-19 test result done 96-hour before entering India. However, a recent modification in the SOP brings relief to thousands of travellers entering India and eliminates the mandatory 96-hour COVID-19 test. Instead, a passenger can get the test done at the airport itself.
Which airport is providing this facility
While Delhi airport was the first airport to set up a RT-PCR test facility at the Terminal 3 of Indira Gandhi International Airport, Mumbai International Airport has also opened this facility for travellers. For other airports, passengers have to produce COVID-19 certificate done 96-hour prior boarding a flight.
Is this facility chargeable?
Yes, the cost of package starts at Rs 5,000 at the Delhi Airport which includes both the testing and waiting at international lounge till the report arrives. The service and facility is being provided in collaboration with Premium Plaza Lounge and Genestrings Diagnostic Centre, a Delhi-based laboratory, which is currently associated with Delhi government to test COVID-19 samples. The charge is Rs 1,600 at the Mumbai Airport.
How much time will it take for the test?
While on-spot testing on arrival is available, it is advisable to book a slot online to avoid delays. After the test, passengers can relax at the lounge while awaiting the results. The test results will be available within 4-6 hours.
What if test comes positive?
Passengers will have to follow ICMR and state guidelines for further testing and institutional quarantine.
What if test comes negative?
All Passengers with negative report can proceed to state desk at the lounge for clearance of their onward journey. The state officials will stamp the hands of the passengers with Covid negative certificate and let them proceed for their onward journey.
Who can avail this facility?
Only the international arriving passengers with onward domestic flight will be allowed to take the on-arrival test in the phase 1. The facility is expected to open soon for all international arrival passengers.
Is the 96-hour prior RT-PCR test still valid?
Yes, if you have done a COVID-19 test 96-hour prior boarding the flight, it will be considered a valid certificate. This facility is optional for passengers who wish to get them tested on arrival.