Due to the threat of the Omicron variant, government revises guidelines for international travelers, check details here

29 Nov, 2021

Omicron variant travel restrictions:

The Union Health Ministry has issued new guidelines for travelers coming from abroad in a day-long emergency meeting on Sunday, amid the threat of the new and rapidly spreading variant Omicron, which is likely to spread to many countries of the world. The Union Ministry has classified travelers from two types of countries in this. Guidelines have been issued for travelers from 14 countries at risk of 'Omicron', a more contagious possible form of the Covid-19 virus, while guidelines have been issued for travelers coming from other countries.

Guidelines for people traveling to India due to the Omicron variant:

  • Guidelines for people traveling to India from “at-risk countries” including South Africa:

According to the guidelines of the Ministry of Health, passengers coming from 'at-risk countries' will have to undergo a Covid test after arrival and wait for the results at the airport. If their test comes negative, then they will have to be in-home quarantine for 7 days. After this, the test will have to be done again after 8 days and if the test is negative then they will have to monitor themselves for the next 7 days i.e. a week.

  • Guidelines for people traveling to India from “no-risk countries”:

Passengers from non-risk countries will be allowed to leave the airport and self-monitor their health for 14 days. A subdivision (5% of total flight passengers) will undergo random testing at the airport upon arrival. The Union Health Ministry has amended the guidelines for international arrivals in India with effect from 1st December and now it will be necessary to submit travel details of the past14 days. The RT-PCR test report will have to be uploaded on the Air Suvidha Portal before the journey.

Passengers traveling to India from these countries will have to follow additional norms:

1. European countries including Britain

2. South Africa

3. Brazil

4. Bangladesh

5. Botswana

6. China

7. Mauritius

8. New Zealand

9. Zimbabwe

10. Singapore

11. Hong Kong

12. Israel

Center issues instructions to the states to increase the surveillance measures & health facilities:

It must be noted that, amid growing concern over the spread of the new variant of Coronavirus 'Omicron' in various countries, the Center on Sunday decided to review the resumption of international flights and asked the states to increase their investigation-surveillance measures and health facilities and have issued some instructions. In view of the current threat, states have started imposing restrictions again and they have started tracing people coming from abroad, especially from countries from the 'at risk' category. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai have demanded not to allow flights from the affected countries.

Delta variant found in two South African nationals in Karnataka:

The news of the discovery of this new variant in South Africa was given to the World Health Organization (WHO) on 24th November, while no case of the Omicron variant has been reported in India. The delta variant of the Covid-19 virus has been found in two South African citizens in Karnataka, and a state government official gave this information on Sunday. The Center has asked states and union territories to do intensive prohibition, active surveillance, increase testing, monitor hotspots, increase coverage of vaccinations, and augment health facilities.

Over 30 mutations found in the new Omicron variant:

Dr. Randeep Guleria, head of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), has said that more than 30 mutations have been found in the spike protein region of the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus that can help it to develop the ability to evade the immune system and hence there is a need to seriously evaluate the effectiveness of vaccines against it.

 

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