India announces new guidelines, makes seven-day quarantine mandatory for all international arrivals from 11 January

As per the new guidelines, international travellers from 'countries at risk' will have to submit samples for COVID testing at the point of arrival

FP Staff January 07, 2022 16:57:55 IST
India announces new guidelines, makes seven-day quarantine mandatory for all international arrivals from 11 January

A health worker collects a swab sample of a traveller at Ahmedabad airport. PTI

With the surge in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country and the looming threat of Omicron variant, Centre has come out with a new set of rules for international arrivals in India.

According to the revised guidelines, home quarantine has been made mandatory for seven days for all arriving passengers  through airports, seaports and land borders. Also, international passengers will now have to submit a self-declaration form along with a negative RT-PCR report before the start of their journey.

The revised guidelines will come into effect from 11 January.

Travellers need to submit a sample for post-arrival COVID-19 test at the point of arrival (self-paid) and 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 seven days and shall undertake RT-PCR test on the eighth day of arrival in India. Travellers are required to upload results of repeat RT-PCR test for COVID-19 done on the eighth day on Air Suvidha portal. If negative, they will further self-monitor their health for next seven days.

However, if such travellers are tested positive, their samples should be further sent for genomic testing at INSACOG laboratory network and they shall be managed at an isolation facility. The contacts of such positive case should be kept under home quarantine monitored strictly by the concerned State Government, read the order.

Guidelines for International Arrivals by Roshneesh K'Maneck on Scribd

Here's a quick look at the guidelines:

Planning for Travel

  • All travellers should submit complete and factual information in self-declaration form on the online Air Suvidha portal before the scheduled travel, including last 14 days travel details.
  • Travellers should upload a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR report. The 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.
  • All travellers who need to undertake testing on arrival, should preferably pre-book the test
    online on Air Suvidha Portal, to facilitate timely testing

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
  • 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 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.
  • 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.

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

India reported 1,17,100 fresh COVID cases on Friday, over 28 percent higher than the previous day's cases, with a total of 3,007 cases of Omicron variant.

With inputs from agencies

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