COVID-19: Centre issues revised guidelines for international arrivals in India

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An order issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said, “The global trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to decline with some regional variations.

New Delhi: The Government of India has reviewed the existing guidelines for international arrivals as the global trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to degrade with increasing vaccination coverage across the world, resulting in a changing nature of the pandemic.

An order issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said, “The global trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to decline with some regional variations. The constantly changing nature of the virus and the need to monitor the evolution of SARS-CoV- are of concern.” 2 forms (VOCs) should still remain in focus.” It further read, “The existing Guidelines for International Arrivals in India (issued on 17 February 2021 with subsequent appendices) have been prepared taking a risk-based approach. In view of the changing nature, the existing guidelines for international arrivals in India have been reviewed.

The order said that the revised protocol for risk profiling of passengers needs to be followed by international passengers as well as airlines at points of entry (airports, seaports and land borders).

As per the order, all passengers should submit a self-declaration form, upload a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR report, upload a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR report (this test will be conducted within 72 hours before commencing the journey) before the scheduled journey. ) and each passenger shall also submit a declaration regarding the authenticity of the report and shall be liable to criminal prosecution if found otherwise.

The order directs the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India through the concerned airlines to give an undertaking on the portal or otherwise to comply with the decision of the appropriate government authority, before allowing the passengers to travel. To

Undergo home quarantine/self-health monitoring as required.

The order informed that in continuation of the earlier approach, travelers from certain specified countries (based on the epidemiological status of COVID-19 in those countries) are identified for additional follow-up.

These include the need for additional measures. The list of such designated countries is a dynamic exercise based on the evolving situation of COVID-19 across the world and will be made available on the websites of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and the link of the same will be available. Website of Ministry of External Affairs and Air Suvidha Portal.

There are countries that have an agreement with India on the mutual recognition of vaccination certificates for vaccines that are nationally recognized or recognized by WHO.

Similarly, there are countries that currently do not have such an agreement with India, but completely exempt Indian citizens from nationally recognized or WHO-recognized vaccines.

On the basis of reciprocity, certain exemptions on arrival (Category A countries) are allowed to passengers from all such countries which provide quarantine-free entry to Indians.

It has been said in the order that before boarding, the passengers will be informed about the dos and don’ts with the ticket by the airlines/agencies concerned.

It directed airlines to allow boarding only those passengers who have filled the self-declaration form on the ‘Air Suvidha’ portal and uploaded the negative RT-PCR test report.

It states that after thermal screening at the time of boarding the flight, only asymptomatic passengers will be allowed to board.

Further, the order advised all passengers to download the Aarogya Setu app on their mobile devices.

The order states that in-flight announcements regarding COVID-19, including precautionary measures, shall be made at airports and in flights and during transit.

The order further directed the in-flight crew to ensure that COVID appropriate behavior is followed at all times.

If a passenger reports symptoms of COVID-19 during the flight, he/she will be put in isolation as per protocol, the order read.

The order said that deboarding should be done by the health authorities present at the airport to ensure physical distancing and thermal screening of all passengers. The self-declaration form filled online will be shown to the airport health staff.

Passengers found to be symptomatic during the screening will be immediately isolated and taken to a medical facility as per health protocols. If tested positive, their contacts will be identified and managed as per the prescribed protocol, the order said.

It states that if a traveler is arriving from a country with which India has made reciprocal arrangements for mutual acceptance of WHO approved COVID-19 vaccines (Category A), then, if they have been fully vaccinated then they will be allowed to leave the airport and self-monitor their health after 14 days of arrival.

If partially/not vaccinated, passengers are required to take various measures, which include submission of sample for COVID-19 test after arrival at the point of arrival, after which they are required to leave the airport. will be allowed, home quarantined for 7 days, re-tested on the 8th day of arrival in India and if negative, self-monitoring their health for the next 7 days, informed the order.

It added that if a passenger is arriving from a country other than those falling under Category A, they will have to undergo the measures mentioned above, irrespective of their COVID-19 vaccination status.

The order said that travelers from countries except at-risk countries would be allowed to leave the airport and self-monitor their health for 14 days.

This applies to travelers from all countries, including countries that have reciprocal arrangements for mutual acceptance of WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccines.

Passengers under home quarantine or self-health surveillance, if they develop signs and symptoms of COVID-19 or test positive for COVID-19 on re-test, shall immediately self-isolate and report to their nearest health facility Or call on the national helpline number. 1075)/ State Helpline Number, directed the order.

Listed instructions for international passengers arriving at ports/land ports, the order states that such passengers will also undergo the same protocol as above, except that the facility of online registration is not currently available to such passengers.

It also directed such passengers to submit a self-declaration form to the concerned authorities of the Government of India at the ports/land ports on arrival.

The order states that 15 days must have elapsed since the completion of the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

The order also mentioned that the co-passengers in contact with the suspected case are sitting in the same row, 3 rows front and 3 rows rear with the identified cabin crew.

Also, all community contacts of passengers who have tested positive (during the home quarantine period) will be under quarantine for 14 years.

day and tested as per ICMR protocol.

Countries from which travelers will have to follow additional measures upon arrival in India, including post-arrival testing (at-risk countries), are countries in Europe including the United Kingdom, South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New are included. Zeeland and Zimbabwe.

First published:October 20, 2021, 6:35 pm

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