India issued revised guidelines for international air passengers arriving from identified high-risk countries including China, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and Japan, mandating an RT-PCR test.

"As per the revised guidelines, a mandatory requirement for pre-departure RT-PCR testing (to be conducted within 72 hours prior to undertaking the journey) has been introduced for passengers in all international flights from these countries," the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said in a statement.

This will also apply to transiting passengers through the countries irrespective of their originating countries before coming to any Indian airport, it said.

Accordingly, the Ministry of Civil Aviation's Air Suvidha portal has to be made operational for passengers on all international flights from these countries to submit negative RT-PCR test reports as well as to submit self-declaration form, the Health Ministry said in a communication.

The existing practice of post arrival random testing of 2 per cent travellers (irrespective of port of departure) shall continue, it said.

The Ministry said that the guidelines has been revised in the context of the evolving trajectory of Covid-19 cases in some countries, especially China and Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and Japan.

Launched in August 2020 to ensure the safety of travellers and Indian citizens, Air Suvidha is a digital portal developed by the Ministry of Civil Aviation where passengers travelling to India can provide details of their travel, RT-PCR report and vaccination status in a self-declaration form.

To ensure smooth passage of international travellers arriving in India, the Ministries of Civil Aviation and Health and Family Welfare had mandated contactless self-declaration at Air Suvidha Portal during the last year.