As new variant spreads rapidly, India revises guidelines for international travellers

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Nov 29, 2021, 01:43 PM(IST)

The health ministry has issued new guidelines for int. travellers Photograph:( Zee News Network )

Story highlights

The new guidelines mandate submitting travel details of 14 days. Also, the travellers will be required to upload their negative RT-PCR test report on the Air Suvidha portal before the journey

As fears of the new variant continue to grow, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Sunday issued new guidelines for international travellers arriving in India. These will come into effect starting from December 1.

The new guidelines mandate submitting travel details of 14 days. Also, the travellers will be required to upload their negative RT-PCR test report on the Air Suvidha portal before the journey. Along with the report, every international traveller needs to fill a self-declaration form. 

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People arriving from "at-risk" nations need to provide samples of RT-PCR testing and those who test positive will have to quarantine. Those who have been infected with the new Covid strain will need to follow stricter isolation rules. The "at-risk" countries are - several countries in Europe including The United Kingdom, South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Israel.

Even if people from this category test negative, a 7-day home quarantine is mandatory.

Also read | Those who had COVID-19 may be reinfected more easily with Omicron: WHO

For people arriving from the no-risk areas, there will be random sampling for RT-PCR tests. If tested positive, the sample will be further sent for genome sequencing. Those who test negative will be advised to monitor themselves for at least two weeks.  

The announcement comes after a meeting was held with various experts including Dr VK Paul, member of NITI Aayog, Dr Vijay Raghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister and senior officers from Health, Civil Aviation and other ministries. 

As the new virus variant B.1.1.529 gripped the world on Friday, the World Health Organisation moved to name it Omicron and designated it as a "variant of concern". The new variant has created panic as countries have banned flights from South Africa where it was first discovered including other African countries. 

Apart from South Africa, the new variant was also discovered in Botswana, Israel and Hong Kong. As of now, it. has spread to 15 different countries worldwide.

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