Fulbright to India Guide – 2021-2022

COVID-19 Information

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on May 5, 2023 that COVID-19 is no longer a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC).

Some important things to keep in mind :

  • The information on this page is general guidance for you but it can change at any time. USIEF will do its utmost to keep everything updated, but it is your responsibility to stay informed.
  • It is your responsibility to check all state, national, and international restrictions that may affect your time in India and any travel.
  • You are advised not to travel, if you have COVID-19 compatible symptoms.
  • As and when situation demands, COVID-19 restrictions in India may be implemented at all levels of government: national, regional (state), municipal, and even by neighborhood areas.
  • Face masks are recommended to be worn both outdoors and on public transportation (flight, taxi, including private cars, etc.).

On arrival, passengers will be de-boarded to ensure physical separation, and health inspectors at the airport may conduct thermal screenings on all passengers. Guest may be subjected to a random RT-PCR test upon arrival, although this is at the discretion of health officials. If he is chosen for random testing, he/she will be required to pay the test fees and will be free to depart once he/she has given his sample.

Please be aware that in both India and the United States, wearing a surgical mask on board during the flight and inside the airport premises is recommended.

You must familiarize yourself with India’s travel protocols on the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s  for latest updates on travel regulations for international arrivals.

Please go through the latest update on guideline for international arrival and list of Countries on Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s. (in case you travel to India from another country other than the U.S.) from where travellers will need to follow additional measures on arrival in India, including post-arrival testing (Countries at-risk).

After confirming close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, or in the case of COVID-19 compatible symptoms, you should follow the Fulbright India COVID-19 Protocol.

Covid 19 protocol flow

The COVID-19 protocol starts when either you have COVID-compatible symptoms*, or you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Close contact, according to the CDC, is defined as having been within 6 feet of someone without wearing a mask for more than 15 minutes.

After you begin to experience symptoms or confirm close contact, the first thing you should do is self-isolate in your home. Next, you must notify the following people of your situation: anyone with whom you have been in close contact within the last 5-7 days, your host institution, and your primary contact at the United States-India Educational Foundation (USIEF).

You should then get tested for COVID-19. It is very easy to get tested for COVID-19 in most places in India.  The collection of samples can be done from home/office/guesthouse without visiting a hospital or lab.  RT-PCR test is widely available at government centers free of cost.  The private labs are offering RT-PCR tests for around US$10-15 per test and Rapid Antigen tests for around US$7-8 per test.

After you get a COVID-19 test you should continue home isolation and wait for the results of your test.

If you receive a positive test result, you must complete 07 days quarantine in your home in compliance with the instructions from your doctor and the requirements of your host institution. As these vary, you may be required to repeat the COVID-19 test or receive a different test, obtain medical approval, or complete a longer quarantine to return to normal activity. After you have confirmed that you have complied with your host institution requirements and your medical provider’s instructions, you can return to normal activity.

If you receive a negative result, but you are experiencing COVID compatible symptoms, you should inform your doctor. You may be instructed to remain in quarantine and/or obtain another COVID-19 test. You should update your USIEF contact if you need to repeat a COVID-19 test. If you are instructed to get another test, you should remain in quarantine until you receive the result. If you receive a negative result again, you can return to normal activity. If you receive a positive result, then you should follow the previous protocol for a positive COVID-19 test.

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea


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