Monday, November 29, 2021

Flying to India? Here’s what you need to know

Union Health Ministry revised guidelines for international arrivals in India on Sunday to be effective from December 1 amid the emergence of a new Covid-19 variant termed Omicron. The revised guidelines mandate

submitting 14 days’ travel details and uploading a negative RT-PCR test report on the Air Suvidha portal before the journey.

All travelers will need to submit a self-declaration form before the scheduled travel under the new guidelines, including details of the last 14 days of travel. Travelers will also need to upload a negative COVID-19 RTPCR report 72 hours before undertaking any journey.

“The existing guidelines have been revised in view of reporting of a new variant of SARS-CoV-2 (B.1.1.529; named Omicron) which has been now classified as Variant of Concern by the World Health Organization,” the Health Ministry said.

Passengers coming from ‘at-risk’ countries will have to undergo RT-PCR testing on arrival in India now.

If tested negative, they’ll follow home quarantine for seven days. Re-test will take place on the 8th day, which if negative, further self-monitoring will happen for next seven days.

A sub-section (5% of total flight passengers) will undergo post-arrival testing at random at the airport on arrival.

The Health Ministry has classified countries in Europe, including UK, South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Israel as ‘at-risk’.

Earlier today, the central government said it would review the resumption of scheduled international commercial flights.

Full service carrier Vistara on Sunday said it was looking forward to the guidance from the government on normalisation of international flight services amid the emergence of a new COVID variant.

Two days after announcing that scheduled international flight services to and from India will resume from December 15 subject to certain conditions applicable for ‘at risk’ countries, the government on Sunday decided to review the decision on effective date as per evolving global scenario.

Scheduled international passenger flights remain suspended since March 23 last year due to the coronavirus pandemic and on Friday, aviation regulator DGCA said the suspension will continue till 2359 hours of December 14. Limited air services are being operated between India and select countries under the air bubble agreements.

29/11/21 Bangalore Mirror

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