If you are planning to travel to India anytime soon, here are the latest guidelines for international passengers, released by the Health Ministry. By Tanvi Jain
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The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has recently issued a new set of guidelines for international arrivals, according to which travellers will be required to submit a self-declaration form, either on newdelhiairport.in, at least 72 hours before the journey, or physically at the health counter upon arrival.
Some key highlights of the guidelines as mentioned on the Health Ministry’s official website include:
- All travellers should submit self-declaration form on the online portal (newdelhiairport.in) at least 72 hours before the scheduled travel or physically after arrival at the respective health counters.
- They should also submit an undertaking on the portal or otherwise to the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Govt. of India, through concerned airlines before they are allowed to undertake the journey stating that they would abide by the decision of the appropriate government authority to undergo facility/home quarantine/self-monitoring of their health for 14 days, or as warranted.
- Only for compelling reasons/cases of human distress such as pregnancy, death in the family, serious illness and parent(s) with children of the age of 10 years or below, home quarantine may be permitted for 14 days.
- If they wish to seek such an exemption, they must submit an application on the online portal (newdelhiairport.in) at least 72 hours prior to boarding. The decision taken by the government as communicated on the online portal will be final.
- Travellers may also seek exemption from institutional quarantine by submitting a negative RT-PCR test report. This test should have been conducted within 72 hours prior to undertaking the journey. The test report should be uploaded on the portal for consideration. 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. The test report could also be produced upon arrival at the point of entry airport in India.
- International passengers arriving without an RT-PCR negative certificate and wishing to seek exemption from institutional quarantine may also avail the facility available at the airports to undergo RT-PCR testing (where such provisions exist).
- All such passengers opting for exemption from institutional quarantine shall undertake self-monitoring of their health and must be exempted from quarantine.
- International passengers arriving without RT-PCR negative certificate and not opting for RT PCR test at the airport (if the facility is available)/arriving at an airport where testing facility is not available will have to undergo mandatory seven days’ institutional quarantine and seven days’ home quarantine.
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Moreover, before boarding every traveller must be provided with a list of dos and don’ts along with the ticket, and they must make sure to download the Aarogya Setu app and maintain social distancing. Every passenger must be screened for temperature and only asymptomatic passengers must be allowed to board the flight. The airport must ensure sanitisation and disinfection, and regular announcements regarding COVID-19 precautions must be made both at the airport as well as inside the flight. While onboard, safety precautions such as wearing a mask, environmental, respiratory and hand hygiene must be observed both by the staff as well as by the passengers.
Furthermore, upon arrival, thermal screening must be done once again, and passengers must also show the self-declaration form filled online. Symptomatic passengers must be immediately isolated and sent to a medical facility, whereas those who already have a negative RT-PCR test certificate must be exempted from quarantine and be allowed to undertake self-monitoring for 14 days.
Same goes for international passengers arriving via sea or land, as well. However, states are allowed to have their additional restrictions, based on the condition and requirement in the area.