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Omicron: Random testing and other revised rules for foreign travellers, explained

There are 12 ‘at-risk’ countries listed by the Health Ministry. These include the United Kingdom, South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong and Israel. 

Written by Kaunain Sheriff M , Edited by Explained Desk | New Delhi |
November 28, 2021 10:17:07 pm
Covid-19If travellers from ‘at risk’ countries test positive for Covid-19 on arrival, their samples will be sent for genome sequencing. (File photo)

Amid the threat posed by the Omicron variant, which has been classified as a Variant of Concern by WHO, the Health Ministry on Sunday revised the guidelines for international travel. The government has also decided to review the date of resumption of international flights, earlier scheduled for December 15.

What are the revised guidelines? 

International travellers from specified countries at risk will have to strictly follow five specific steps:

* First, international travellers have to submit their samples for the post-arrival Covid-19 test at the point of arrival. These travellers will be required to wait for their test results at the arrival airport before leaving or taking a connecting flight.

* If they test negative, they will have to stay in quarantine for seven days. They have get tested again on the 8th day after arriving in India. If the result is negative, they will have to further self-monitor their health for the next 7 days.

* If such travellers test positive, their samples will be sent for genomic testing at INSACOG laboratory network.

* All Covid-positive international travellers will be kept at a separate isolation facility and treated as per laid down standard protocols, including contact tracing.

*The contacts of such positive cases should be kept under institutional quarantine or at home quarantine monitored strictly by the concerned state government as per laid down protocols.

Which are the ‘at risk’ countries from where travellers would need to follow additional measures on arrival in India? 

There are 12 ‘at-risk’ countries listed by the Health Ministry. These include the United Kingdom, South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong and Israel.

What are the rules for travellers from other countries? 

They will be allowed to leave the airport and shall self-monitor their health for 14 days after arrival. However, 5% of these flight passengers will have to undergo random testing at the airport on arrival.

And if the travellers test positive or develop symptoms later while they are in home quarantine or self-health monitoring their condition, they will have to immediately self-isolate and report to their nearest health facility.

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