India’s Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) notified a new set of guidelines for inbound international travellers. From January 11, all international travellers will be required to undergo home quarantine even if tested negative at the airport. Those who test positive will be sent straight to an isolation facility, where their health will be monitored as per set protocols.
Pre-boarding checklist for international travellers planning to travel to India from January 11.
-All travellers need to submit correct information in a self-declaration form on the 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, the test for which should have been conducted within 72 hrs prior to the journey. It is to be noted that the passenger will be subjected to criminal proceedings if the report is not found to be credible by the authorities.
-All travellers who need to undertake testing on arrival, should preferably pre-book the test online on Air Suvidha Portal, to facilitate timely testing.
-Travellers from at-risk countries will be subjected to additional checks and follow up. At-risk countries as notified by Home Ministry include: United Kingdom, South Africa, Brazil, Botswana, China, Ghana, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Hong Kong, Israel, Congo, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Nigeria, Tunisia, and Zambia
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.
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.
At the time of boarding the flight, only asymptomatic travellers will be allowed to board after thermal screening.
All passengers will undergo thermal screening at the airport. 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.
Travellers from at risk countries will be tested for Covid-19 again and will need to wait behind till the results are declared. The cost of this test will be borne by the passenger. 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 and shall undertake RT- PCR test on the 8th day of arrival in India. Travellers shall also be required to upload results of repeat RT-PCR test for COVID-19 done on 8th 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 7 days. However, if such travellers are tested positive, their samples should be further sent for genomic testing at INSACOG laboratory network. The contacts of such positive case should be kept under home quarantine monitored strictly by the concerned State Government as per laid down protocol.
Exemptions for children?
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 home quarantine period, they shall undergo testing and treated as per laid down protocol.
The latest measures were announced after a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases in India in the past few days.
The rise of Omicron —the latest variant of Covid-19—has jeopardised the travel plans of millions. Early indications from South Africa and the United Kingdom, the two countries to report widespread Omicron infections, suggest the latest SARS-CoV-2 strain may not be as deadly as its predecessor Delta. However, it is also reported to be more infectious that earlier variants.
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