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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

India issues fresh guidelines for international arrivals

Muscat: The Indian government has issued the latest guidelines or the Standard Operating Procedure for passengers coming into the country.


This Standard Operating Procedure shall be valid from December 1, till further orders.


Based on the risk assessment, this document shall be reviewed from time to time.


A.1. Planning for Travel


i. All travellers should


a. Submit a self-declaration form on the online Air Suvidha portal before the scheduled travel, including the last 14 days travel details.


b. Upload a negative RT-PCR report*.


This test should have been conducted within 72 hrs prior to undertaking the journey.


c. Each passenger shall also submit a declaration with respect to the authenticity of the report and will be liable for criminal prosecution if found otherwise.


ii. They should also give an undertaking on the portal or otherwise to the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India, through concerned airlines before they are allowed to undertake the journey that they would abide by the decision of the appropriate government authority to undergo home/institutional quarantine/ self-health monitoring, as warranted.


iii. Continuing with the earlier approach, travellers from certain specified Countries (based on the epidemiological situation of COVID-19 in those Countries) are identified for additional follow up.


These include the need for additional measures as detailed in para (xv) below. The listing of such specified Countries is a dynamic exercise based on the evolving situation of COVID- v. Do’s and Don'ts shall be provided along with tickets to the travellers by the airlines/agencies concerned.


vi. Airlines to allow boarding by only those passengers who have filled in the Self Declaration Form on the Air Suvidha portal, uploaded the negative RT-PCR test report.


vii. At the time of boarding the flight, only asymptomatic travellers will be allowed to board after the thermal screening.


viii. All passengers shall be advised to download the Aarogya Setu app on their mobile devices.


A.3. During Travel ix. In-flight announcements about COVID-19 including precautionary measures to be followed shall be made at airports and in flights and during transit. x. During in-flight crew shall ensure that COVID appropriate behaviour is followed at all times.


xi. If any passenger reports symptoms of COVID-19 during flight, he/she shall be isolated as per protocol.


A.4. On arrival


xii. De-boarding should be done ensuring physical distancing.


xiii. Thermal screening would be carried out in respect of all the passengers by the health officials present at the airport. The self-declaration form filled online shall be shown to the airport health staff.


xiv. The passengers found to be symptomatic during screening shall be immediately isolated and taken to medical facility as per health protocol. If tested positive, their contacts shall be identified and managed as per laid down protocol.


xv. Travellers from specified Countries at risk [as mentioned in para (iii) above] will follow the protocol as detailed below:


 Submission of sample for post-arrival COVID-19 test* at the point of arrival (self-paid). Such travellers will be required to wait for their test results at the arrival airport before leaving or taking a connecting flight.


 If tested negative they will follow, home quarantine for 7 days. Re-test on the 8th day of arrival in India* and if negative, further self-monitor of their health for next 7 days.


 However, if such travellers are tested positive, their samples should be sent for genomic testing at INSACOG laboratory network.


 They shall be managed at a separate isolation facility and treated as per laid down standard protocol including contact tracing mentioned in para


(xiv).  The contacts of such positive cases should be kept under institutional quarantine or at home quarantine monitored strictly by the concerned State Government as per laid down protocol.


xvi. Travellers from Countries excluding those Countries at risk, will be allowed to leave the airport and shall self-monitor their health for 14 days’ post-arrival.


A sub-section (5% of the total flight passengers) shall undergo post-arrival testing at random at the airport on arrival.


a. The 5% of such travellers in each flight shall be identified by the concerned airlines (preferably from different countries).


b. Such travellers shall be escorted by the concerned airlines/MoCA to the testing area on arrival. c.


The cost of testing such travellers shall be borne by MoCA. d. Laboratories shall prioritize testing of samples from such travellers.


e. If such travellers are tested positive, they shall be managed as per laid down standard protocol and samples would be further sent for genomic testing.


xvii. If travellers under home quarantine or self-health monitoring, develop signs and symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 or test positive for COVID-19 on re-testing, they will immediately self-isolate and report to their nearest health facility or call National helpline number (1075)/ State Helpline Number.


International travellers arriving at seaports/land ports


xviii. International travellers arriving through seaports/land ports will also have to undergo the same protocol as above, except that facility for online registration is not available for such passengers currently.


xix. Such travellers shall submit the self-declaration form to the concerned authorities of the Government of India at seaports/land ports on arrival.


* Children under 5 years of age are exempted from both pre-and post-arrival testing.


However, if found symptomatic for COVID-19 on arrival or during the home quarantine period, they shall undergo testing and be treated as per laid down protocol.


# Contacts of the suspect case are the co-passengers seated in the same row, 3 rows in front and 3 rows behind along with identified Cabin Crew.


Also, all the community contacts of those travellers who have tested positive (during the home quarantine period) would be subjected to quarantine for 14 days and tested as per ICMR protocol.


Do’s and Don'ts shall be provided along with tickets to the travellers by the airlines/agencies concerned.


vi. Airlines to allow boarding by only those passengers who have filled in the Self Declaration Form on the Air Suvidha portal, uploaded the negative RT-PCR test report.


vii. At the time of boarding the flight, only asymptomatic travellers will be allowed to board after thermal screening.


viii. All passengers shall be advised to download the Aarogya Setu app on their mobile devices.


A.3. During Travel


ix. In-flight announcements about COVID-19 including precautionary measures to be followed shall be made at airports and in flights and during transit. x. During in-flight crew shall ensure that COVID appropriate behaviour is followed at all times.


xi. If any passenger reports symptoms of COVID-19 during flight, he/she shall be isolated as per protocol.


A.4. On arrival


xii. De-boarding should be done ensuring physical distancing. xiii. Thermal screening would be carried out in respect of all the passengers by the health officials present at the airport. The self-declaration form filled online shall be shown to the airport health staff.


xiv. The passengers found to be symptomatic during screening shall be immediately isolated and taken to a medical facility as per health protocol. If tested positive, their contacts shall be identified and managed as per laid down protocol.


xv. Travellers from specified Countries at risk [as mentioned in para (iii) above] will follow the protocol as detailed below:


 Submission of sample for post-arrival COVID-19 test* at the point of arrival (self-paid). Such travellers will be required to wait for their test results at the arrival airport before leaving or taking a connecting flight.


 If tested negative they will follow, home quarantine for 7 days. Re-test on the 8th day of arrival in India* and if negative, further self-monitor of their health for next 7 days.


 However, if such travellers are tested positive, their samples should be sent for genomic testing at the laboratory network.


 They shall be managed at separate isolation facilities and treated as per laid down standard protocol including contact tracing mentioned in para (xiv).  The contacts of such positive cases should be kept under institutional quarantine or at home quarantine monitored strictly by the concerned State Government as per laid down protocol. xvi. Travellers from Countries excluding those Countries at risk will be allowed to leave the airport and shall self-monitor their health for 14 days’ post-arrival.


A sub-section (5% of the total flight passengers) shall undergo post-arrival testing at random at the airport on arrival. a. The 5% of such travellers in each flight shall be identified by the concerned airlines (preferably from different countries). b. Such travellers shall be escorted by the concerned airlines/MoCA to testing area on arrival. c. The cost of testing such travellers shall be borne by MoCA.


d. Laboratories shall prioritize testing of samples from such travellers. e. If such travellers are tested positive, they shall be managed as per laid down standard protocol and samples would further send for genomic testing. xvii. If travellers under home quarantine or self-health monitoring, develop signs and symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 or test positive for COVID-19 on re-testing, they will immediately self-isolate and report to their nearest health facility or call the National helpline number (1075)/ State Helpline Number. International travellers arriving at seaports/land ports xviii.


International travellers arriving through seaports/land ports will also have to undergo the same protocol as above, except that facility for online registration is not available for such passengers currently.


xix. Such travellers shall submit the self-declaration form to the concerned authorities of the Government of India at seaports/land ports on arrival.


* Children under 5 years of age are exempted from both pre-and post-arrival testing. However, if found symptomatic for COVID-19 on arrival or during the home quarantine period, they shall undergo testing and be treated as per laid down protocol.


# Contacts of the suspect case are the co-passengers seated in the same row, 3 rows in front and 3 rows behind along with identified Cabin Crew.


Also, all the community contacts of those travellers who have tested positive (during the home quarantine period) would be subjected to quarantine for 14 days and tested as per ICMR protocol.


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