India Revises Rules For International Arrivals Over Omicron

Starting Wednesday, a new set of rules will come into effect for international travellers arriving in the country. The rules have been revised in view of the rising concerns over the emergence of the new coronavirus variant, named ‘Omicron’, that has been termed as a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Among the latest guidelines, the Union health ministry has mandated RT-PCR test passengers arriving from ‘at-risk’ nations’.

According to the health ministry, the countries designated as “at-risk” are the European countries, including the UK, South Africa, Brazil, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong and Israel.

Here are the key points to know:

> According to the new guidelines, passengers arriving in India are required to submit the self-declaration form on the online Air Suvidha Portal before the scheduled travel. They are also required to submit the last 14 days travel details.

> The guidelines also mandated uploading of negative RT-PCR test reports on the Air Suvidha portal before the journey. The test should have been conducted within 72 hours prior to undertaking the journey.

> Travellers from ‘countries at-risk’ will need to take the Covid-19 test post-arrival. They will be then asked to wait at the airport premise until the result comes.

> In case of a negative test result, the traveller will be asked to home-quarantine for seven days as a precautionary measure. They will have to take a retest on eighth day and if negative, further self-monitor for the next seven days.

> In case of a positive test result, the samples will be sent for genomic testing at the INSACOG laboratory network. Meanwhile, the passenger will be taken to a separate isolation facility and will be treated as per the protocol laid down by the health ministry.

> A subsection (5 percent of the total flight passengers) shall undergo post-arrival testing at random at the airport on arrival.

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