India Issues Revised Guidelines For International Arrivals; Covid-19 Test, Home Quarantine Mandatory

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The Govt of India on Friday issued new guidelines for all international passengers arriving into the country starting from 11th January 2022.

As per the new guidelines, all inbound passengers will now have to submit a self-declaration form and a negative RT-PCR report on the Air Suvidha portal before their journey.

Moreover, they have also been provided with the provision to pre-book a Covid-19 test that would be taken on arrival.

The existing guidelines have been revised in view of reporting of a new variant of SARS-CoV-2 (B.1.1.529; named Omicron) which has been classified as a Variant of Concern by the World Health Organization.

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India Revised Guidelines For International Arrivals

  1. Planning for Travel
  2. Before Boarding
  3. During Travel
  4. On Arrival
  5. International travelers arriving at seaports/land ports
  6. Updated List of ‘At-Risk’ Countries

1. Planning for Travel

1. Submit complete and factual information in a self-declaration form on the online Air Suvidha portal before their scheduled travel, including travel details of the last 14 days.

2. Upload a negative Covid-19 RT-PCR report. The test should have been conducted within 72 hours prior to undertaking the journey.

3. Each passenger shall also submit a declaration with respect to the authenticity of the report and will be liable for criminal prosecution if found otherwise.

4. They should also give an undertaking on the portal or otherwise to the Ministry of Civil Aviation through concerned airlines before they are allowed to undertake the journey. They should declare that they would abide by the decision of the appropriate government authority to undergo home/institutional quarantine/ self-health monitoring, as warranted.

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5. Travellers from certain specified countries — based on the epidemiological situation of Covid-19 in those countries — are identified for additional follow-up.

6. All travelers, who need to undertake testing on arrival, should preferably pre-book the test online on Air Suvidha Portal, to facilitate timely testing.

2. Before Boarding

1. Passengers coming from or traveling to at-risk countries shall be informed by the airlines that they will undergo post-arrival testing. They will be quarantined if tested negative and will be subjected to stringent isolation protocols if tested positive.

2. Do’s and Don’ts shall be provided along with a ticket to the travelers by the airlines/agencies concerned.

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3. Airlines to allow boarding by only those passengers who have filled in all the information in the self-declaration form on the Air Suvidha portal and uploaded the negative RT-PCR test report.

4. At the time of boarding the flight, only asymptomatic travelers will be allowed to board after the thermal screening.

5. All passengers shall be advised to download the Aarogya Setu app on their mobile devices.

3. During Travel

1. In-flight announcement about Covid-19, including precautionary measures, to be followed shall be made at airports and in flights, and during transit.

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2. In-flight crew shall ensure that Covid appropriate behavior is followed at all times.

3. If any passenger reports symptoms of Covid-19 during flight, he/she shall be isolated as per protocol.

4. Proper in-flight announcements should be made by the airlines regarding the testing requirements and people who need to undergo such testing to avoid any congestion at the arrival airports.

Algorithm: Guidelines for International Arrivals  applicable from 10th January 2022

4. On Arrival

1. De-boarding should be done ensuring physical distancing.

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2. Thermal screening would be carried out in respect of all the passengers by the health officials present at the airport. The self-declaration form filled online shall be shown to the airport health staff.

3. The passengers found to be symptomatic during screening shall be immediately isolated and taken to a medical facility as per health protocol. If tested positive, their contacts shall be identified and managed as per laid down protocol.

4. Travellers from specified countries at risk will follow the protocol as detailed below:

  • Submission of sample for post-arrival Covid-19 test at the point of arrival (self-paid). Such travelers will be required to wait for their test results at the arrival airport before leaving or taking a connecting flight.
  • If tested negative they will follow, home quarantine for 7 days and shall undertake RT-PCR test on the eighth day of arrival in India.
  • Travelers shall also be required to upload results of repeat RT-PCR test for Covid-19 done on the eighth day on Air Suvidha portal (to be monitored by the respective States/UTs).
  • If negative, they will further self-monitor their health for the next seven days.
  • However, if such travelers are tested positive, their samples should be further sent for genomic testing at INSACOG laboratory network.
  • They shall be managed at isolation facility and treated as per laid down standard protocol including contact tracing.
  • The contacts of such positive cases should be kept under home quarantine and monitored strictly by the concerned state government as per the laid-down protocol.

5. Travelers from other countries will follow the protocol as detailed below:

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  • A sub-section (2 per cent of the total flight passengers) shall undergo post-arrival testing at random at the airport on arrival.
  • These 2 per cent of such travelers on each flight shall be identified by the concerned airlines (preferably from different countries).
  • Laboratories shall priorities testing of samples from such travelers.
  • All travelers (including those 2 per cent who were selected for random testing on arrival and were found negative) will undergo home quarantine for 7 days and shall undertake RT-PCR test on the 8th day of arrival in India.
  • Travelers shall also be required to upload the results of repeat RT-PCR test for Covid-19 done on the eighth day on Air Suvidha portal (to be monitored by the respective States/UTs).
  • If negative, they will further self-monitor their health for next seven days.
  • However, if such travelers are tested positive, their samples should be further sent for genomic testing at INSACOG laboratory network.
  • They shall be managed at an isolation facility and treated as per laid down standard protocol including contact tracing.

6. If travelers under home quarantine or self-health monitoring, develop signs and symptoms suggestive of Covid-19 or test positive for Covid-19 on re-testing, they will immediately self-isolate and report to their nearest health facility or call National helpline number (1075)/State Helpline Number.

5. International travelers arriving at seaports/land ports

1. International travelers arriving through seaports/land ports will also have to undergo the same protocol as above, except that a facility for online registration is not available for such passengers currently.

2. Such travelers shall submit the self-declaration form to the concerned authorities of the Government of India at seaports/land ports on arrival.

3. Children under 5 years of age are exempted from both pre-and post-arrival testing. However, if found symptomatic for Covid-19 on arrival or during the home quarantine period, they shall undergo testing and be treated as per laid down protocol.

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4. Contacts of the suspected case are the co-passengers seated in the same row, three rows in front and three rows behind along with identified Cabin Crew.

6. India – Updated List of ‘At-Risk’ Countries

S. No.Country
1 Countries in Europe including The United Kingdom
2 South Africa
3 Brazil
4 Botswana
5 China
6 Ghana
7 Mauritius
8 New Zealand
9 Zimbabwe
10 Tanzania
11 Hong Kong
12 Israel
13 Congo
14 Ethiopia
15 Ghana
16 Kazakhstan
17 Kenya
18 Nigeria
19 Tunisia
20 Zambia

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