India announces new guidelines for international travelers

Health Ministry says mandatory 7-day home quarantine for travelers from countries specified as 'at-risk'.

India announces new guidelines for international travelers

India's Health Ministry has issued new COVID-19 guidelines for international arrivals after the country decided last week to resume commercial flights.

"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," said an updated advisory issued by the country's Health Ministry.

According to the guidelines, which will come into effect from Dec. 1, all those who are planning to travel to India should "submit self-declaration form" on an online portal, before the scheduled travel, including the last 14 days' travel details.

The ministry also said that travelers from specified "countries at risk" have to submit a sample for the post-arrival COVID-19 test after arriving in India.

"Such travelers will be required to wait for their test results at the arrival airport before leaving or taking a connecting flight," the guidelines said. "If tested negative they will follow, home quarantine for 7 days. Re-test on the 8th day of arrival in India, and if negative, further self-monitor of their health for next 7 days."

The fresh guidelines further note that travelers from countries, excluding those countries at risk, "will be allowed to leave the airport and shall self-monitor their health for 14 days post arrival."

"A sub-section (5% of the total flight passengers) shall undergo post-arrival testing at random at the airport on arrival," it said.

India on Friday said that it has decided to resume international commercial flights from Dec. 15 after nearly a two-year hiatus.

The Health Ministry in a separate notification, has listed "countries in Europe including the United Kingdom"; South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Israel as "countries at-risk".

Hüseyin Demir