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Omicron Concerns: What Are the COVID-19 Travel Curbs Announced by States So Far?

What are the reported restrictions announced by individual states so far? Do they vary for each state?

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COVID-19
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As a new and potentially more dangerous COVID-19 variant – Omicron – emerged in different parts of the world, various countries have rushed to prevent it from making an advent into their own or to prevent it from spreading further within. India too has attempted to put in place some regulations, to keep a horrifying third COVID-19 wave at bay.

Various states have also implemented their own restrictions in light of the new variant.

So what are the reported restrictions announced by individual states so far? Do they vary for each state?

Maharashtra

  • Domestic passengers, who are flying to Maharashtra, will have to provide proof of double vaccination or negative report of an RT-PCR test conducted within 72 hours of boarding the flight.

  • Meanwhile, inter-state road travellers will need RT-PCR done within 72 hours of travel. If negative report is not available, they will be tested for the virus at checkposts.

  • Those arriving from six nations, classified as 'ultra-risk' nations will have to undergo seven-day institutional quarantine.

  • The rule will also apply to people who visited these nations anytime within 15 days ahead of their arrival, and any passenger who is symptomatic.

  • Travellers from 'at-risk' countries will have to get tested for COVID-19 post-arrival and will have to wait for their test results at the arrival airport before leaving or taking a connecting flight, as per the Centre's rules.

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Gujarat

  • Passengers who are not fully vaccinated and who are travelling from countries categorised as 'at risk' by the Union Health Ministry will have to undergo COVID-19 tests upon arrival.

  • Those who are fully vaccinated will also be screened at the airport for any symptoms of the infections.

Uttar Pradesh

  • Chief Medical Officers across the state have been asked to keep an eye on travellers from countries where the variant has been reported.

  • The Uttar Pradesh government has issued an advisory pressing on the importance of contact tracing.

Kerala

  • Kerala's Health Minister Veena George has said that travellers coming from high-risk countries will have to take the RT-PCR test on arrival at the airport.

  • Travellers will also have to undergo a seven-day quarantine, and on the eighth day, they will be required to retake the RT-PCR test, following which they would have to be in self-observation.

  • Two percent of passengers coming from non-high-risk countries will be chosen for the RT-PCR test and be in self-observation for 14 days. Geoge said that genomic surveillance is also on in the state, with the government remaining vigilant and taking all probable steps.

  • Earlier, George had said that a strict watch would be kept for seven days on incoming international travellers.

Goa

  • Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant announced that all international passengers coming to Goa – whether at Goa Airport or Mormugao Port – will have to follow the safety protocols strictly.

  • He was quoted as saying, "They will have to strictly undergo COVID-19 tests. People coming from 12 'at-risk countries' will have to follow 14-day quarantine strictly. People from other nations will have to undergo 14-day self-isolation after tests. We will take their follow-up," ANI reported.

Sikkim

  • Sikkim government’s home department announced that no Inner Line Permit (ILP)/ RAP/ PAP passes will be issued to foreign nationals visiting Sikkim.

  • An ILP is an official travel document issued by the concerned state government to allow inward travel into a protected area for a limited period.

Karnataka

  • Mandatory COVID-19 tests for all International travellers.

  • Only those International travellers who test negative will be allowed to leave.

  • Those who test positive will be quarantined.

Karnataka government has also requested the Union government to restrict international travellers from all countries.

What Has the Union Govt Said?

The Union Health Ministry on Sunday, 28 November, announced revised travel guidelines for international passengers in order to curb the spread of the new COVID-19 variant, Omicron, which has been classified as a Variant of Concern (VoC) by the World Health Organization (WHO).

  • International travellers will have to provide their 14 days’ travel history and upload negative COVID-19 test results.

  • Further, travellers from 'at-risk' countries will have to undergo a mandatory seven-day quarantine even if they test negative for the virus.

The new guidelines will come into effect from Wednesday, 1 December.

Find out more about the Union government-mandated restrictions here.

(With inputs from Outlook.)

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