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FAQ: What Are the COVID-19 Curbs Imposed by States for International Passengers?

The Health Ministry on 31 December informed that India recorded 16,764 new cases of COVID in the last 24 hours

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FAQ: What Are the COVID-19 Curbs Imposed by States for International Passengers?
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Amid the steep rise in Omicron cases, states across the country have implemented international travel restrictions to contain the spread of the new COVID-19 variant.

The Centre on Friday, 7 January, revised the existing guidelines for international arrivals in India, making it mandatory for passengers to home quarantine for seven days.

The new rules will come into effect from Tuesday, 11 January.

“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 classified as a Variant of Concern by the World Health Organization,” the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) said in a notification.

But what are the state-specific restrictions in place for international passengers? Here's all you need to know.


What happens if I test positive on arrival in Delhi?

According to a government directive on Thursday, international passengers testing positive for COVID upon arrival at the Delhi airport will have to isolate at designated paid and free facilities.

The Directorate of Health Services in a statement said, "In compliance to the guidelines for international arrivals dated 30th November, 2021, issued by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, based on the risk assessment, it is informed that the institutional isolation of Covid positive passengers/contacts arriving at IGI Airport, New Delhi from foreign countries will, henceforth, be done at the designated paid and free facilities (hotels/Covid Care Centre), set up by various districts," IANS quoted.

What about Maharashtra?

All people travelling from 'high-risk' countries will have to have to undergo RT-PCR tests on arrival, and will be required to complete a 7-day institutional quarantine.

A second test will be carried out on the seventh day and in the event of a positive, they will be shifted to a hospital with Covid-19 treatment facilities.

If the test result is negative, the passenger will need to home quarantine another week.

And Mumbai?

As per the latest guidelines issued by the city's civic body, all international passengers arriving at the airport from 'at risk' countries and UAE are required to take the rapid RT-PCR test or any other tests.

If a passenger tests negative, he or she will be allowed to go home and carry out home quarantine for seven days.

If a passenger tests positive, then he or she will be asked to take the routine RT-PCR test and would be asked to wait for the results. If results come back positive and the patient is symptomatic, he or she will be sent for treatment at Seven Hills Hospital (free of cost). These patients may also chose for a paid treatment at Bombay Hospital or Breach Candy Hospital.

If the patient is asymptomatic after testing positive, they would be provided treatment at BKC or Kanjur Jumbo Centre (free of cost) or a private hotel of their choice, from those mentioned in the advisory.

Fully vaccinated passengers arriving from countries that are not 'at risk', need not go through the tests unless they are asked to do so by the authorities.


What will I need to do if I'm an international arrival in West Bengal?

Upon arrival, those travelling from foreign countries will undergo a mandatory Covid test.

"Flights, which is from an at-risk country as notified by MOHFW, Government of India, will not be allowed in the state, and any NOCs which have been issued stand withdrawn," the state Home Secretary BP Gopalika said on Thursday, 30 December.

He added, "the airlines will randomly select 10 per cent of the passengers for the RT-PCR test, and the balance 90 per cent shall undergo Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) on arrival at the airport. Those found positive in the RAT test will have to further undergo RT-PCR tests as may be required by the health authorities."

Directions have been given to set up a special ward at the government-run Beleghata ID Hospital, especially those positive with the Omicron variant.

What if I'm arriving in Karnataka?

Passengers from Omicron hit nations will have to mandatorily undergo RT-PCR tests and remain in home quarantine for seven days. If tested positive, the sample will be sent for genomic sequencing and they will be admitted to a separate isolation facility, the Indian Express reported.

For passengers coming from non at-risk nations, a random sample of 5 per cent of travellers with negative antigen test results will take an RT-PCR on arrival.

What are the curbs in place for Jammu & Kashmir?

All international arrivals will be required take RT-PCR tests, and those testing positive will be shifted to a quarantine facility and undergo contact tracing.

People testing negative but coming from ‘at-risk’ nations will have to home quarantine for seven days. They will be tested again on the eighth day, and if negative, will be asked to self-monitor for coming two weeks.

All other foreign passengers will be advised to self monitor.

(With inputs from The Indian Express, PTI, IANS.)

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