When there was a sigh of relief as Coronavirus cases had just started trembling down, a new Covid 19 variant Omicron had struck the world. According to experts, the new variant is more deadly and even fully vaccinated persons are not immune from it. Also Omicron is easily transmittable so it has been advised to avoid going to crowded places. Taking security measures, India has issued news travel guidelines w.e.f 1st December 2021.
According to the new guidelines issued, international travelers have to follow the SoPs:
All travellers have to submit a self-declaration form on the online Air Suvidha portal before the scheduled travel, Passengers also need to disclose their last 14 days travel details.
All international travelers need to upload a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR report which should not be old more than 72 hrs prior to the flight.
All passengers have to submit a declaration with respect to the authenticity of the report. If there is any discrepancy they will be liable for criminal prosecution.
Passengers traveling from ‘at-risk countries’ shall undergo testing upon arrival and are subject to home quarantine if tested negative, in case of positive test result strict isolation will be done.
Only those passengers will be allowed to board the flight who have filed the Self Declaration.
Form on Air Suvidha portal and have also uploaded their negative RT-PCR test report. Also only asymptomatic travelers will be allowed to board the flight.
Travellers from specified Countries ‘at risk’ will follow additional protocols.
- Travelers arriving from ‘at risk’ countries will submit their sample upon arrival for RT-PCR test which is chargeable and will be borne by the passengers. They need to wait at the airport only for their test results.
- As explained above if the test result comes negative they will follow home quarantine for 7 days and a Re-test will be done on the 8th day and if negative, further self-monitor of their health for next 7 days will be done. In case of positive test results their samples should be sent for genomic testing at INSACOG laboratory network. They shall be managed at a separate isolation facility.
- The contacts of such positive case should be kept under institutional quarantine or at home quarantine monitored strictly by the concerned State Government as per laid down protocol.
Travellers from Countries excluding those Countries at risk, will be allowed to leave the airport but they have to self-monitor their health for 14 days post arrival.
Also, there will be random testing of travelers, arriving from countries excluding ‘at risk’ countries. These travelers will be identified by airlines and the cost of their tests will be borned by travelers only.
If travellers under home quarantine or self-health monitoring, develop signs and symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 or test positive for COVID-19 on re-testing, they have to immediately self isolate and report to their nearest health facility or call National helpline number (1075)
International travellers arriving at seaports/land ports
International travellers arriving through seaports/land ports will also have to undergo the same protocol as above.
These travelers won’t have to submit self-declaration online, they can submit their self-declaration form to the concerned authorities at seaports/land ports on arrival.
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.