The new rule, applicable even to fully vaccinated individuals, comes into effect as a new COVID-19 strain emerges in six other countries.


Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport increases its COVID-19 testing capacity. Photo by: Damian Pankowiec/Shutterstock

Following the discovery of C.1.2—a new, more transmissible variant of COVID-19—the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has issued a new set of guidelines for international passengers arriving at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport. Effective from September 3, 2021 (00:00 hr), self-expensed RT-PCR testing has been made mandatory on arrival for all passengers travelling from or through the U.K., Europe, Middle East, South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand and Zimbabwe.

Passengers from other countries—exiting or transferring to connecting flights—are to present a negative COVID-19 report taken no longer than 72 hours before arrival. Under the new guidelines, all exemptions made for people over the age of 65 and fully vaccinated individuals have also been scrapped including the provision for institutional quarantine.

“All passengers shall have to submit their self-declaration form and undertaking to officers deployed at the Mumbai Airport and shall be mandatorily subjected to 14 days home quarantine”, read BMC’s circular.

Priced at ₹600 a test, Airport Operators at Mumbai have increased the testing capacity of the space to 600 passengers per hour.

The new coronavirus variant—C.1.2—was first detected in South Africa on July 21, 2021, according to the World Health Organisation. The new variant is known to have over 40-59 mutations than the virus detected in Wuhan. While the C.1.2 virus was found in six other countries, government sources told ANI that this variant has not yet been detected in India.


To read more stories on travel, cities, food, nature, and adventure, head to our web forum here or our new National Geographic Traveller India app here.