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No mandatory COVID-19 tests for Singapore travellers to India: High Commission of India

The High Commission of India in Singapore says India's health minister only referred to visitors from China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Bangkok – contrary to media reports that also named Singapore.

No mandatory COVID-19 tests for Singapore travellers to India: High Commission of India

Arriving passengers leave a terminal at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai, India on Dec 1, 2021. (Photo: AFP/Punit Paranjpe)

SINGAPORE: Travellers from Singapore will not need to undergo mandatory COVID-19 tests when they visit India, the High Commission of India in Singapore said on Wednesday (Dec 28).

The clarification comes after media reports stated that travellers from Singapore will need to present a negative COVID-19 test result to enter India.

The reports cited India's Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya as saying on Dec 24 that reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests will be made mandatory for passengers from China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand when they arrive in India.

Passengers from those countries will have to undergo thermal screening at airports and be placed under quarantine if they showed symptoms of COVID-19 or tested positive, the reports stated.

Responding to CNA's queries about COVID-19 measures for Singapore travellers visiting India, First Secretary (Political and Press, Information and Culture) of the High Commission of India in Singapore Saswati Dey pointed to a video of the health minister speaking to a media agency about COVID-19 measures for travellers. 

"As is evident from the video, the minister has mentioned only the following destinations: China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Bangkok. Singapore was not mentioned in his statement," said Ms Dey. 

"Any other source you refer to may have erroneously cited incorrect information." 

She also referred to guidelines issued by India's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Dec 22, which state that all travellers should "preferably be fully vaccinated as per the approved primary schedule of vaccination against COVID-19 in their country".

The guidelines do not specify the countries from which travellers will need to undergo COVID-19 tests. It added that about 2 per cent of total passengers in a flight - except children under 12 years old - will undergo random post arrival testing at the airport.

"Such travellers in each flight shall be identified by the concerned airlines (preferably from different countries). They will submit the samples and shall be allowed to leave the airport thereafter," added the guidelines. 

If travellers’ samples are tested positive, their samples will be sent for genomic testing and they will be treated or isolated. 

For official and verified updates on travel guidelines, it would be safer for people to refer to the health ministry's website, added Ms Dey.

India's government has asked the country's states to keep a lookout for any new variants of the coronavirus and urged people to wear masks in crowded places, citing an increase in COVID-19 cases globally.

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Source: CNA/lk(mi)


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