International passengers who have to take connecting domestic flights after landing in India will be able to get themselves tested for COVID-19 at the entry airports, the Civil Aviation Ministry said on Wednesday. If the RT-PCR test result is negative, the international passenger will be allowed to catch his or her connecting domestic flight and he or she will not need to undergo any institutional quarantine at the destination city, the ministry's order said. The test result will come in a maximum of seven hours. Till the results come, the passenger will have to remain in the waiting lounge of the entry airport, the order noted.
Such on-arrival testing facilities can be extended to other passengers too, the order said. On August 2, the Health Ministry had said if an international passenger has a negative result from an RT-PCR test done 96 hours prior to the journey, he or she will not need to undergo institutional quarantine in India.
Scheduled international passenger flights continue to remain suspended in the country since March 23 due to the pandemic. However, special international flights have been operating under the Vande Bharat Mission since May and under bilateral air bubble pacts signed with various countries since July.