The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare announced revised guidelines for international travelers on Thursday recommending 14 days of self-monitoring post-arrival instead of seven days as required earlier. On Monday, the guidelines will take effect, which will relax certain protocols that must be followed during international travel.
As per newly revised guidelines, all international travelers will be able to upload a certificate proving that they have completed the full primary vaccination schedule of Covid from selected 82 countries on a reciprocal basis, as well as a negative RT-PCR result (taken 72 hours prior to departure). The list of countries includes Australia, Canada, Cuba, Denmark, Hong Kong, Iran, Maldives, Israel, Mexico, Nepal, New Zealand, Oman, Qatar, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, United States of America, among others. In other words, the line between at-risk countries and other nations has been removed.
The need for collecting samples at the port of arrival and waiting for the results from countries at risk is no longer necessary,’ tweeted Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya. ‘On arrival, passengers with symptoms should be isolated and taken to a medical facility immediately’. There will be random testing at the airport for two percent of the passengers. In accordance with the official order, if the sample of such travelers is found to be positive, it will be sent for Genome Sequencing.
The contacts of passengers testing positive shall be identified and managed as per the protocol. The statement states, ‘Contacts of the suspect case include co-passengers seated in the same row, three rows in front and three rows behind along with the identified cabin crew’. The guidelines will be followed by all airlines and at all points of entry including airports, seaports and land ports.