India has issued a new travel guideline for international travellers that will come into effect from December 1, 2021. The new rules were announced following a high-level meeting to review public health preparedness with states and UTs in view of the new Covid variant, 'Omicron'.
The Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus has been detected in South Africa and some other countries and has been declared as a variant of concern by the World Health Organisation. The Government of India has declared some countries as countries "at-risk" for Omicron variant.
Important Points from the New India Travel Guidelines -
- Travellers need upload a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR report. This test should have been conducted within 72 hrs prior to undertaking the journey.
- Airlines can only allow boarding of only those passengers who have filled in the Self Declaration Form on the Air Suvidha portal and have uploaded the negative RT-PCR test report.
- Travellers originating or transiting from ‘at-risk’ countries will undergo post-arrival testing, quarantine, if tested negative. Stringent isolation protocols will be followed if tested positive. After their test at the airport, passengers will have to wait for their test results at the arrival airport before leaving or taking a connecting flight.
- According to the latest India guidelines, if tested negative they will follow, home quarantine for 7 days. Re-test on the 8th day of arrival in India and if negative, further self-monitor of their health for the next 7 days.
- The countries designated as "at-risk" are the European countries, the UK, South Africa, Brazil, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Israel.
- If a traveller is tested positive, his samples will be sent for genomic testing at the INSACOG laboratory network. He shall be managed at a separate isolation facility and treated as per standard protocol including the contact tracing method.
- The contacts of such positive cases will be kept under institutional quarantine or at home quarantine monitored strictly by the concerned State Government as per the protocol.
- Travellers from countries excluding those ‘at-risk’ nations, will be allowed to leave the airport and shall self-monitor their health for 14 days post-arrival.
- A sub-section (5% of total flight passengers) shall undergo post-arrival testing at random at the airport on arrival.
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