Here’s a List of ‘At-Risk’ Nations From Where Fliers Will Need to Follow New Norms on Arrival

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Amid the Omicron scare, the Centre today put out a slew of new guidelines to be followed by states and UTs to contain the spread of the new Covid variant. As countries rush to impose travel curbs, the Centre has asked all states and UTs to focus on intensive containment, active surveillance, enhanced testing, monitoring of hotspots, increased coverage of vaccination and augmentation of health infrastructure.

Listing a series of measures that states and UTs should undertake, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan also stressed rigorous surveillance of international passengers, ensuring prompt dispatch of samples for genome sequencing and strict enforcement of Covid-appropriate behaviour to effectively manage this Variant of Concern (VOC).

Also Read: Covid Test on Arrival, 14-day Travel History: India Revises Norms for Foreign Fliers Amid Omicron Scare

The central government on Friday included Hong Kong and Israel in the list of countries from where travellers would need to follow additional measures on arrival in India. The nations that are currently on the ‘at-risk’ list of India are European countries, including the UK, South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong and Israel.

 List of countries from where travellers would need to follow additional measures on arrival in India

1. Countries in Europe including the United Kingdom

2. South Africa

3. Brazil

4. Bangladesh

5. Botswana

6. China

7. Mauritius

8. Zimbabwe

9. Singapore

10. Hong Kong

11. Israel

12. New Zealand

Covid Test on Arrival

According to the revised rules, travellers from 12 ‘countries at-risk’ will need to take Covid test post-arrival and wait for results at the airport. If the traveller is tested negative, they have to be home quarantined for 7 days. They will be re-tested on eighth day and if found negative, they will have to further self-monitor themselves for the next 7 days, the updated guideline stated. The revised guidelines of the Union Health Ministry for international arrivals in India will be effective from December 1. The travellers also have to submit their travel details for the last 14 days and upload the negative RT-PCR test report on Air Suvidha portal before commencing their journey, the guideline states. Travellers to be allowed to leave the airport and self monitor for 14 days, it said. Moreover, 5 percent of travellers in each flight shall be selected randomly for testing by Ministry of Civil Aviation on arrival, it added.

This comes a day after the government told principal health secretaries of all state governments to ensure ‘rigorous screening and testing’ of all international travellers landing in India from ‘at risk’ countries in view of the emergence of new Covid-19 variant B.1.1.529.

The meeting was held with various experts including Dr VK Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, Dr Vijay Raghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister and senior officers from Health, Civil Aviation and other ministries. At the meeting, it was decided to review the Standard Operating Procedure on testing and surveillance of incoming international passengers, especially for those countries identified ‘at risk’ category, sources said.

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