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Omicron variant: Centre issues revised guidelines for arrivals from 12 nations in 'at risk' category

The Health Ministry also shared a list of “high risk” countries from where travellers would need to follow additional measures on arrival in India, including post-arrival testing (Countries at-risk).
 

Omicron variant: Centre issues revised guidelines for arrivals from 12 nations in 'at risk' category-dnm
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New Delhi, First Published Nov 29, 2021, 1:45 PM IST
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Amid the rising concern for new coronavirus variant Omicron, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare issued revised guidelines for international passengers travelling to India, effective from December 1. Now, passengers travelling from or transiting through "at-risk" countries submit 14-days travel details and upload a negative RT-PCR test report on the Air Suvidha portal before the journey. This test should have been conducted within 72 hours prior to undertaking the journey.

As per Health Ministry's guidelines, travellers will need to take the Covid test post-arrival and wait for results at the airport. If tested negative they'll follow home quarantine for 7 days. Re-test on 8th day and if negative, further self-monitor for next 7 days.

Each passenger will also have to submit a declaration with respect to the authenticity of the report and will be liable for criminal prosecution, if found otherwise, says the new guidelines.

The Health Ministry also shared a list of “high risk” countries from where travellers would need to follow additional measures on arrival in India, including post-arrival testing (Countries at-risk).

Also read: Not yet clear if Omicron variant more transmissible or causes severe disease: WHO

The new set of guidelines has protocols to be complied with by international travellers as well as those to be followed by airlines, points of entry -- including airports, seaports and land border -- for risk profiling of passengers.

The countries (at risk updated as on November 26, 2021) from where travellers would need to follow additional measures on arrival in India include European countries, the UK, South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong and Israel.

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 now been classified as a Variant of Concern by the World Health Organization.

The new variant of SARS-CoV-2 carries 32 mutations in the spike protein region providing it with the ability to escape immunity and transmit fast. It is spreading fast in most of the provinces in South Africa.

Passengers coming from “at risk” countries will have to bear the cost of testing at the airport. Similar rules will be applicable for passengers from such countries reaching the seaport and land port. Only children below five years of age are exempted from the test.

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