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India issues new norms for international arrival, exempts COVID test for kids under 5

According to the health ministry, the existing standards for overseas arrivals in India have been revised in light of increased vaccine coverage throughout the world and the changing character of the epidemic.

India issues new norms for international arrival exempts COVID test for kids under 5 gcw
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New Delhi, First Published Nov 11, 2021, 7:12 PM IST
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According to amended foreign arrivals rules issued today, children under the age of five are exempted from pre-and post-arrival COVID-19 testing in India. However, suppose they are discovered to be symptomatic for coronavirus infections upon arrival or during the home quarantine period. In that case, they must be tested and treated according to the established protocol, according to the guidelines. The statement noted that while the global trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to diminish with some regional variances, the necessity to monitor the constantly changing nature of the virus and the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern must remain a priority.

The present rules for overseas arrivals in India (published on February 17 with later addendums) have been developed using a risk-based approach. According to the health ministry, the existing standards for overseas arrivals in India have been revised in light of increased vaccine coverage throughout the world and the changing character of the epidemic. It added that pre- and post-arrival testing is waived for children under the age of five. However, if they are discovered to be symptomatic for COVID-19 upon arrival or during the home quarantine period, they will be tested and treated according to the procedure.

According to the government, this standard operating procedure will be effective from November 12 (00:00 Hrs IST) until additional directives are issued. In addition, 15 days must have passed since the conclusion of the COVID-19 vaccine programme. Travellers who have been vaccinated and come from a country with whom India has reciprocal agreements for mutual acceptance of WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccines will be allowed to leave the airport. They will not be subjected to home quarantine, according to current regulations.
They must self-monitor their health for 14 days following their arrival.

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Travellers who are only partially or not fully vaccinated must take precautions such as submitting a sample for a post-arrival COVID-19 test at the airport. After that, they will be permitted to depart, subjected to home quarantine for seven days, re-tested on the eighth day of their arrival in India, and subjected to additional self-monitoring of their health for the next seven days if the results are negative. 

On arrival, deboarding should be done while maintaining physical separation and thermal scanning of all passengers by health experts present at the airport. The online self-declaration form must be given to airport health personnel. According to health procedure, passengers who are discovered to be symptomatic during screening must be immediately segregated and brought to a medical institution. If they test positive, their contacts must be identified and treated in accordance with the procedure. The co-passengers sat in the same row, three rows in front and three rows behind, as well as the recognised cabin personnel, are the suspect case's contacts. The recommendations further indicated that any community contacts of those travellers who tested positive (during the home quarantine period) would be quarantined for 14 days and tested according to ICMR methodology.

Also Read | US lifts severe travel restrictions on India, China; children under 18 exempt from vaccine rule

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