Covid-19: India announces mandatory quarantine for all international arrivals

All travellers will have to undergo an RT-PCR test on the eighth day of arrival


Dhanusha Gokulan

Published: Fri 7 Jan 2022, 2:09 PM

Last updated: Fri 7 Jan 2022, 11:16 PM

All international arrivals must undergo mandatory seven-day home quarantine upon arrival in India, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare announced Friday, January 7.

Following this, they would have to undergo an RT-PCR test on the eighth day of arrival. The Ministry updated rules for India-bound travellers in view of the rising prevalence of the Omicron variant. The new standard operating procedure shall be made effective from January 11 onwards.

The Ministry confirmed children under five years were 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 treated as per laid down protocol,” stated the revised list of guidelines.


Quarantine rules for travellers from the UAE

In November 2021, India classified its international arrivals into two categories - Travellers coming from ‘at risk countries’ and travellers from countries ‘excluding those enlisted as countries at risk’. In the revised protocols, this classification continues to be maintained.

While all travellers from the UAE are not required to undergo an RT-PCR test upon arrival, depending on the state they are travelling to, two per cent of passengers of randomly selected passengers shall undergo post-arrival testing at the airport. Some states, such as Kerala and Maharashtra, for example, are testing all passengers upon arrival.

The randomly selected list of passengers in each flight would be identified by the concerned airlines and laboratories have been asked to prioritize testing of samples from such travellers.

All travellers, including the two per cent who were selected for random testing on arrival and if found negative, would have to undergo home quarantine for seven days and shall undertake RT-PCR test on the eighth day of arrival in India.

Travellers are required to upload the results of the RT-PCR test, done on the eighth day, on the Air Suvidha portal. The results would be monitored by the respective Indian States and Union Territories.

If negative, all travellers are required to self-monitor their health for the next seven days. Samples of travellers who test positive would be sent for further genomic testing. “They shall be managed at isolation facility and treated as per laid down standard protocol,” said the Ministry.

Countries on India’s ‘at-risk’ list

The Ministry stated the list of countries is being updated regularly based on the prevalent epidemiological situation of Covid-19 in these countries, including circulation of variants of concern. Travellers arriving from these countries will have to undergo mandatory testing upon arrival. They will have to wait at the airport until they receive their test results. If tested negative, they would have to undergo mandatory home quarantine for seven days.

1. Countries in Europe, including The United Kingdom

2. South Africa

3. Brazil

4. Botswana

5. China

6. Ghana

7. Mauritius

8. New Zealand

9. Zimbabwe

10. Tanzania

11. Hong Kong

12. Israel

13. Congo

14. Ethiopia

15. Kazakhstan

16. Kenya

17. Nigeria

18. Tunisia

19. Zambia

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