India Issues Revised Guidelines For International Arrivals: Testing, Home Quarantine For Passengers From High-Risk Countries

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Over the concern of the new Omicron variant of Covid-19 which is spreading around the world, India on Sunday issued revised guidelines for international arrivals and imposed new travel curbs for those who are coming from ‘High Risk’ countries.

The Union Health Ministry on Sunday in its revised guidelines for international arrivals also said that it is mandatory for all passengers to submit 14 days travel details and upload negative Covid (RT-PCR) test results on the Air Suvidha portal before the journey.

These new rules will come into effect starting from 01st December 2021 and will continue in place till further orders.

The guidelines also stated that the travelers from countries at-risk will need to take the Covid-19 test post-arrival and wait for results at the airport.

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If tested negative they’ll follow, home quarantine for 7 days. Not just that, a re-test will be done on the 8th day & if negative, the traveler will have to further go to self-monitor for the next 7 days. 

Below is the detailed guidelines announced by the Govt of India;

Revised Guidelines For International Arrivals

Planning for Travel

  • All travellers should Submit self-declaration form on the online Air Suvidha portal (https://www.newdelhiairport.in/airsuvidha/apho-registration) before the scheduled travel, including last 14 days travel details.
  • Upload a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR report*. This test should have been conducted within 72 hrs prior to undertaking the journey.
  • Each passenger shall also submit a declaration with respect to authenticity of the report and will be liable for criminal prosecution, if found otherwise.
  • They should also give an undertaking on the portal or otherwise to Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India, through concerned airlines before they are allowed to undertake the journey that they would abide by the decision of the appropriate government authority to undergo home/institutional quarantine/ self-health monitoring, as warranted.
  • Continuing with the earlier approach, travellers from certain specified Countries (based on epidemiological situation of COVID-19 in those Countries) are identified for additional follow up. These include need for additional measures as detailed in para (xv) below.

Before Boarding

  • Passengers originating or transiting from at-risk countries shall be informed by the airlines that they will undergo post arrival testing, quarantine if tested negative, stringent isolation protocols if tested positive etc.
  • Do’s and Don’ts shall be provided along with ticket to the travellers by the airlines/agencies concerned.
  • Airlines to allow boarding by only those passengers who have filled in the Self Declaration Form on the Air Suvidha portal, uploaded the negative RT-PCR test report At the time of boarding the flight, only asymptomatic travellers will be allowed to board after thermal screening.
  • All passengers shall be advised to download Aarogya Setu app on their mobile devices.

During Travel

  • In-flight announcement about COVID-19 including precautionary measures to be followed shall be made at airports and in flights and during transit.
  • During in-flight crew shall ensure that COVID appropriate behaviour is followed at all times.
  • If any passenger reports symptoms of COVID-19 during flight, he/she shall be isolated as per protocol.

On Arrival

  • De-boarding should be done ensuring physical distancing.
  • 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.
  • The passengers found to be symptomatic during screening shall be immediately isolated and taken to medical facility as per health protocol. If tested positive, their contacts shall be identified and managed as per laid down protocol.

Travelers 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 travellers 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. Re-test on the 8th day of arrival in India and if negative, further self-monitor of their health for next 7 days.
  • However, if such travellers are tested positive, their samples should be sent for genomic testing at INSACOG laboratory network.
  • They shall be managed at separate isolation facility and treated as per laid down standard protocol including contact tracing.
  • The contacts of such positive case should be kept under institutional quarantine or at home quarantine monitored strictly by the concerned State Government as per laid down protocol.
  •  Travellers from Countries excluding those Countries at risk, will be allowed to leave the airport and shall self-monitor their health for 14 days’ post arrival. A sub-section (5% of the total flight passengers) shall undergo post-arrival testing at random at the airport on arrival.
  • The 5% of such travellers in each flight shall be identified by the concerned airlines (preferably from different countries).
  • Such travellers shall be escorted by the concerned airlines/MoCA to testing area on arrival.
  • The cost of testing of such travellers shall be borne by MOCA.

High Risk Countries

List of Countries from where travelers would need to follow additional measures on arrival in India, including post-arrival testing (Countries at-risk)

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  1. Countries in Europe including The United Kingdom
  2. South Africa
  3. Brazil
  4. Bangladesh
  5. Botswana
  6. China
  7. Mauritius
  8. New Zealand
  9. Zimbabwe
  10. Singapore
  11. Hong Kong
  12. Israel

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Also Read: UK Announced New Travel Rules, Pre-Book PCR Test, Self Isolation Mandatory For All Passenger

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