Covid Omicron variant: Travel restrictions imposed by some states in India

Screening of incoming passengers, mandatory RT-PCR test and home quarantine required for travellers

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Published: Fri 10 Dec 2021, 12:16 PM

Fears of a new Covid-19 wave being triggered by the Omicron variant has seen several Indian states tightening up the norms and imposing travel and related restrictions. State governments have also laid out their protocols for passengers landing at airports.

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Statewise restrictions:

  • Maharashtra

Maharashtra, one of the worst-affected state by the Covid crisis, which also saw a significant rise in the emergence of Omicron variants, has ruled out any lockdown. But screening of incoming overseas passengers has been stepped up at Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur airports.

According to Rajesh Tope, the state’s public health minister, the government is following the ‘3T’ formula of testing, tracking and treatment. “We are not thinking about any lockdown in the state as of now,” he said. “We shall keep a close tab on the situation and take a call on curbs following the guidance by the centre, the state task force and the chief minister.”

The minister said that Omicron cases have been sporadic and travel-related. “All the infected people have only mild symptoms and severity has not yet been established,” he added.

The state government has asked all international passengers to send their travel history for the past fortnight before boarding flights to cities in Maharashtra. There are separate counters for checking passengers travelling from at-risk countries. Institutional quarantine and RT-PCR tests are mandatory for such passengers. They will be allowed to board connecting flights only if the test results are negative.

As for domestic travellers, they will be allowed to travel only if they are fully vaccinated or produce a negative Covid test report done 48 hours before travel.

  • Karnataka

Karnataka has said that all international travellers from ‘at-risk’ countries will have to take a mandatory RT-PCR test and should be home quarantined for seven days. Those who test negative or are symptomatic will have to undergo home testing on the fifth day. The asymptomatic ones will be tested on the seventh day if they test positive and will be treated separately or hospitalised.

The government has set up additional testing facilities at the international airports. “A strategy of rigorous screening and testing is mandated for international arrivals in view of the Covid-19 Omicron variant,” said a government statement.

“Availability of a variety of tests ensures faster testing of passengers and better compliance of Covid-appropriate behaviour in holding areas at airports.”

  • New Delhi

The Delhi government has directed all passengers coming from at-risk countries to follow the seven-day home quarantine rules. Passengers travelling from nearly a dozen countries will have to provide details of their travel and upload them on the official Air Suvidha portal. They will also have to provide a negative RT-PCR test (not older than 72 hours); those who test positive will be taken to a designated health facility for isolation.

  • Jammu and Kashmir

International passengers need to undergo mandatory tests at Srinagar airport in Jammu and Kashmir, followed by a seven-day home quarantine. Even after a negative RT-PCR report, they are required to self-monitor for a week in home quarantine.

  • Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh is monitoring arrivals of international passengers from South Africa and the other neighbouring countries; those testing positive will be quarantined, while others will be allowed to go to their destination, but will be under observation.

  • Goa

International passengers arriving in Goa will have to file a self-declaration form online; those travelling from high-risk countries will have to submit samples and pay for a test and wait at the airport for the results. Those testing negative will have to home quarantine for seven days and then take a test. Those testing positive will be isolated and undergo treatment. Passengers travelling from other countries will be tested randomly at the airport.

  • Kerala

Domestic passengers will have to carry a Covid-negative report, but those travelling from Kerala will have to home quarantine for five days.

  • Uttarakhand

The Uttarakhand government has directed all travellers to undergo mandatory tests. Persons found symptomatic or positive will be quarantined for 14 days. Officials are conducting random tests at the state’s borders.

  • Madhya Pradesh

In Madhya Pradesh, visitors will have to undergo mandatory tests if they cannot produce recent test reports.

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