Self-paid RT-PCR test mandatory for UK flyers from January 8

Passengers travelling from the United Kingdom to India from January 8 to 31 will now be subjected to mandatory self-paid RT-PCR test at the airport, the Health Ministry said on Saturday.

Flight services between the two countries were suspended on December 22 in the wake of a more infectious coronavirus strain found in UK’s population. Th services will resume on January 6. This strain has so far been detected in over 29 travellers in India.

According to the standard operating procedure issued by the health ministry, those travelling between January 8 and 31, would be mandatorily subjected to self-paid RT-PCR tests on arrival at the Indian airports concerned.

“Adequate arrangements for passengers waiting for their RT-PCR test as well as test results duly following effective isolation may also be made at the airports in conjunction with the airport authorities,” the guidelines added.

Passengers will have to submit self-declaration form on the online portal,, at least 72 hours before the travel and also carry negative RT-PCR test with them. Airlines are tasked with ensuring availability of negative test before allowing the passenger on board.

Passengers who test positive at the airport will be isolated in an institutional isolation facility in an isolation unit coordinated by the State Health Authorities. They would earmark specific facilities for such isolation and treatment and take necessary action to send the positive samples for genome sequencing.