Govt allows some exemptions in Covid guidelines for those arriving from Ukraine


India, All India

Those arriving have been exempted from pre-boarding RT-PCR test, providing Covid vaccination certificates

Indian nationals board a special Air India flight, evacuating Indians from war-torn Ukraine, in Budapest. (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: Indians being evacuated from Ukraine have been exempted from pre-boarding RT-PCR test, providing Covid vaccination certificates and uploading those on the Air Suvidha portal, the Health Ministry said on Monday.

It said the International Travel Guidelines have been revised and some exemptions allowed on humanitarian grounds for those arriving from Ukraine.

According to the government, as of February 28, five flights carrying 1,156 Indians from Ukraine have arrived in the country and none of them has been kept in isolation so far.

Of the five flights, one arrived in Mumbai and the rest in Delhi.

The Health Ministry said Indians not fulfilling either of the mandatory requirements -- pre-boarding negative RT-PCR test report or fully vaccinated certificate -- as laid down in the 'Guidelines for International Arrivals' have been exempted from uploading these documents on Air-Suvidha Portal before departure to India.

Individuals who have completed their COVID-19 vaccination, irrespective of the country of departure/inoculation, have been allowed to leave the arrival airport in India with the advice to self-monitor their health for the next 14 days, it said.

If a traveller is not able to submit a pre-arrival RT-PCR test or who has not completed their COVID-19 vaccination, they have been allowed to submit their samples on arrival with the advice to self-monitor their health for 14 days after arrival.

If tested COVID positive, they shall be clinically managed according to laid down protocol, the ministry said.

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya tweeted, "The Health Ministry revises international travel advisory for Indians being evacuated from Ukraine: Mandatory pre-boarding negative RTPCR test & vaccination certificate exempted; Uploading documents before departure on Air-Suvidha Portal exempted."

The health ministry said that large diasporas of Indian nationals, mainly students, have found themselves embroiled in the political turmoil being faced by Ukraine.

"Direct evacuation of these stranded Indians through flights could not be carried out because of the Notice to Airmen or Notice to Air Missions issued in Ukraine."

"Accordingly, Indian missions in Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Hungary have been making arrangements to get Indian nationals from Ukraine and fly them out of their respective countries under Operation Ganga Flights," the ministry said.

The Union Health Ministry in close collaboration with the Ministries of External Affairs, Civil Aviation and Home Affairs is lending all support possible in evacuating Indians from Ukraine, the statement said.