Government of India exempts Ukraine evacuees from COVID norms

Government of India exempts Ukraine evacuees from COVID norms
The Government of India has reportedly relaxed some COVID norms for people arriving from war-struck Ukraine.

The Health Ministry has asserted that evacuated Indians have been exempted from providing COVID vaccination certificates, pre-boarding RT-PCR tests, and uploading these documents on the Air Suvidha portal. It added that the international travel guidelines have been updated and some relaxations are allowed on humanitarian grounds for people arriving from Ukraine.

As per the government, five flights carrying nearly 1,156 Indians from Ukraine have arrived in India as of February 28 and none of them have been isolated so far. Out of the five flights, four arrived in Delhi while the remaining one arrived in Mumbai.

In a statement, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya cited that the Ministry has updated international travel guidelines for Indians evacuated from Ukraine. This includes the exemption of mandatory vaccination certificate and pre-boarding negative result of an RT-PCR test as well as document uploading on the Air Suvidha portal before departure.

The Health Ministry also stated that individuals who have completed their vaccination for COVID-19 have been permitted to leave the arrival airport in the country irrespective of the country of departure. However, they have been advised to keep track of their health for the next 14 days.

In case a traveller has not completed their vaccination or is unable to submit an RT-PCR test before arrival, they have been permitted to provide their samples on arrival with a suggestion to keep track of their health over the next two weeks.

Commenting on the Russia-Ukraine war situation, the Health Ministry noted that most Indian nationals, primarily students, have found themselves in the middle of this dire circumstance. It also stated that it is currently not possible to carry out direct evacuations of these stranded Indians owing to the Notice to Air Missions or Notice to Airmen issued in Ukraine.

The Union Health Ministry is closely working with the Ministries of Civil Aviation, External Affairs, and Home Affairs lending support to evacuate Indians from Ukraine.

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