Monday, October 25, 2021

International travellers flying into India from select countries need not home quarantine from today

Fully vaccinated travellers coming into India from countries with which India has reciprocal arrangements for mutual acceptance of WHO approved COVID-19 vaccines will be allowed into the country without the need to home-quarantine. They will, however, have to produce a negative Covid-19 RT-PCR report. This test should have been conducted within 72 hours before undertaking the journey. Also, 15 days must have elapsed since the completion of the vaccination schedule.

India has signed agreements with 11 countries – the UK, France, Germany, Nepal, Belarus, Lebanon, Armenia, Ukraine, Belgium, Hungary and Serbia. However, travellers from this Category A countries that have signed the pact who are partially vaccinated or not vaccinated would need to take a post-arrival test, home quarantine for seven days and go for a retest on the eighth day.

Meanwhile, passengers arriving from 'countries at risk' such as South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand and Zimbabwe will have to take a post-arrival Covid-19 test, home quarantine for seven days, and then re-test on day eight. The quarantine and testing is mandatory for all - whether fully, partially, or not vaccinated.

The guidelines require all airlines to ensure that all travellers have Covid-19 negative test reports before they board flights, and any passenger found symptomatic on arrival will be isolated, taken to a medical facility and tested for Covid-19. For anyone who does test positive, co-passengers in the same row, three rows in front and three rows in the rear of the aircraft, and the cabin crew will also be asked to quarantine for 14 days.

All travellers need to submit a self-declaration form on the online Air Suvidha portal before the scheduled travel and upload a negative Covid-19 RT-PCR report. This test should have been conducted within 72 hours prior to undertaking the journey. They also need to sign a declaration with respect to the authenticity of the report and will be liable for criminal prosecution if found otherwise. The airlines will only let those travellers board who have filled in the Self Declaration Form.

If travellers under home quarantine develop any signs and symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 or test positive for COVID-19 on re-testing, they will have to immediately self-isolate and report to the nearest health facility or call the national helpline number (1075) or state helpline number.

25/10/21 Times of India

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