Air India
Passengers on Air India flight. ANI

In a major relief, the government of India has allowed the Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) cardholders to visit India from certain countries. India has allowed only limited flight operations that too from a selected country amidst the outbreak of COVID-19. In a fresh guideline issued by the Home Ministry, OCI cardholder only from the countries with which air bubble arrangements have been finalized by the Civil Aviation Ministry will be allowed to enter India.

The guidelines further added that other countries would also be added to the list in the near future. The order said, "Other foreigners from these countries also allowed to avail Indian visa facility for business, medical and employment purposes." As per a report in the Mint, last month India further extended the suspension of international commercial passenger operation till 31 August due to pandemic. Nevertheless, the government has approved the incremental movement of passenger traffic through 'Transport Bubble' agreements that have been signed with the countries including United States, France, and Germany, and UK.

Air India flight
[Representational image]Creative commons

Revised guidelines for arriving passengers

In addition, on Sunday the Ministry of Health & Welfare Organization issued revised guidelines for international flight passengers arriving in India. The latest directives will take effect from 8 August 2020. Under the new guidelines, all travelers will have to apply for a self-declaration form at least 72 hours before scheduled travel on the online portal (

The order also said that the traveler will also have to give an undertaking for mandatory quarantine for 14 days i.e. 7 days paid institutional quarantine at their own cost, followed by 7 days isolation at home with self-monitoring of health. Travelers can also request for an exemption from institutional quarantine by sending, upon arrival, a negative RTPCR test report. This test should have been carried out within 96 hours before the journey was undertaken. The report can be uploaded on the portal before the travel. There are a few exceptions given to special cases for instance in case of human distress such as pregnancy, death in the family, serious illness, and parent(s) with children of the age of 10 years or below, home quarantine is permitted.