travel

Omicron update: India revises international travel rules, tightens quarantine

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has updated its international arrivals guidelines. These, according to reports, will take effect on January 11, 2022. Passengers flying from or transiting through ‘at-risk’ countries will now be subjected to’strict isolation’ if they test positive upon arrival, according to the rules.

This action is being taken in response to an increase in cases of the new Omicron variant in the country. Those transiting or arriving from countries classified as ‘at risk’ must be informed by airline companies that they will be subjected to post-arrival testing and quarantine in accordance with protocol at Indian airports. Also, international passengers will not be permitted to leave the airport until the results of the tests are known.

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Additionally, all international visitors to India must register on the Air Suvidha portal and self-declare all of their travel details; upload a negative COVID-19 report obtained within 72 hours; declare its authenticity; and submit an undertaking that they will abide by the decision of the appropriate authority to undergo quarantine in accordance with the revised guidelines.

India revises international
India revises international

International travellers must also schedule their testing in advance of their arrival at Indian airports.

The following are the recommendations for travellers arriving from at-risk countries:

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At the airport, submit a sample for a post-arrival COVID-19 test, which will be self-paid.
Before leaving or boarding a connecting flight, they will have to wait for the results of their tests at the airport.
If their test results are negative, they will be subjected to a seven-day home quarantine before having to take the RT-PCR test again on the eighth day of their arrival in India.
Travelers must also upload the results of a repeat RT-PCR test for Covid-19 performed on the eighth day to the Air Suvidha portal, which will be monitored by the respective States/UTs.
If their test results come back negative, they will be required to continue self-monitoring for the next seven days.
If they test positive, their samples will be sent to the INSACOG laboratory network for genomic testing.
Those who test positive will be isolated and treated according to standard protocol, which includes contact tracing.
Those who come into contact with such a positive case should be quarantined at home, which will be closely monitored by the concerned state government.
For visitors arriving from countries that are not considered ‘at risk,’ the following are the India International Travel Guidelines:

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Around 2% of all flight passengers will be subjected to post-arrival testing, which will take place at the airport at random.
The airlines involved will be able to identify them.
Laboratories will test samples collected from such travellers first.
All incoming passengers, as well as the 2% of those whose results were negative, will be subjected to a 7-day home quarantine and an RT-PCR test on their eighth day in India.
The results of the repeat RT-PCR test for Covid-19 performed on the eighth day must then be uploaded to the Air Suvidha portal, which will be monitored by the respective States/UTs.
They will be required to self-monitor their health for the next seven days if the result is negative.
If their results are positive, their samples should be sent to the INSACOG laboratory network for genomic testing.
They’ll be kept in an isolation facility and treated according to standard protocol, which includes contact tracing.

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