New Guidelines for International Arrivals from Monday as Covid-19 Mutations Drive Pandemic

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In view of the new mutations of Covid-19 in a number of countries abroad, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare issued fresh guidelines for arrival of international passengers in India which will be in effect from Monday.

The Ministry noted that so far, three variants -- UK, South Africa and Brazil -- are already in circulation in India. All three variants are easily transmissible, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The Health ministry, in consultation with the Ministry of Civil Aviation, released SOPs for arrivals from the United Kingdom, Europe and Middle East separately and other nations separately.

Travellers from all countries other than the UK, Europe and Middle East are required to adhere to the following guidelines:

1. All travellers must submit a self-declaration form on the online Air Suvidha portal (www.newdelhiairport.in) before the scheduled travel.

2. They must upload a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR report. This test should have been conducted within 72 hours prior to undertaking the journey.

3. They should also give an undertaking that they would abide by the decision of the appropriate government authority to undergo home quarantine/ self-monitoring of their health for 14 days, or as warranted.

4. Arrival in India without negative report shall be allowed only for those traveling to India in the exigency of death in the family.

5. Airlines to allow boarding only those passengers who have filled in the Self Declaration Form on the Air Suvidha portal and uploaded the negative RT-PCR test report. 6. At the time of boarding the flight, only asymptomatic travellers will be allowed to board after thermal screening.

7. Passengers found to be symptomatic during screening upon arrival shall be immediately isolated and taken to medical facility as per health protocol.

Guidelines for travellers coming from the UK, Europe and Middle East are as follows:

1. While filling out the self declaration form, apart from providing all other information required in the SDF, passengers need to select whether they plan to disembark at the arrival airport or take further flights to reach their final destination in India.

2. Keeping in mind the testing requirements for passengers from UK, Brazil and South Africa, who have to take connecting flights, airlines should keep the passengers informed about the need for transit time of a minimum 6-8 hours at the entry airport (in India) while booking the tickets for connecting flights.

3. All the passengers arriving from United Kingdom, Europe and Middle East shall be carrying negative RT-PCR Test report for which test should have been conducted within 72 hours prior to undertaking the journey. The same also shall be uploaded on the online portal (www.newdelhiairport.in).

4. Airlines to allow boarding only those passengers who have filled in the SDF on the Air Suvidha portal and uploaded the negative RT-PCR test report

5. Airlines should identify the international travellers arriving from/transiting through United Kingdom, Brazil and South Africa (during past 14 days) and segregate them in-flight or while disembarking to facilitate the authorities to follow the due protocol in respect of these travellers

6. All the travellers arriving from/transiting through flights originating in United Kingdom, Europe or Middle East shall be mandatorily subjected to self-paid confirmatory molecular tests on arrival at the Indian airports concerned (port of entry). Entry made in the SDF regarding telephone number and address would be reconfirmed.