No more week-long quarantine for intl passengers: New COVID-19 guidelines now in force

According to the guidelines, all international passengers will show a self-declaration form on arrival at the airport.
File photo of people at the airport wearing masks amid the coroanvirus pandemic in India
File photo of people at the airport wearing masks amid the coroanvirus pandemic in India
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International passengers arriving at the IGI airport in New Delhi will not require to undergo mandatory weeklong quarantine as new COVID-19 guidelines of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare come into force from Monday. The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has directed health officials and district magistrates to ensure the Centre's revised COVID-19 guidelines for international arrivals are followed at the IGI Airport from Monday.

The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare on February 10 released detailed guidelines for international arrivals at airports and seaports in the country, doing away with the quarantine provision.

According to the guidelines, all the passengers will show self-declaration form on arrival at the airport. The passengers found to be symptomatic during screening will be immediately isolated and taken to medical facility under health protocol. If tested positive, their contacts will be identified and managed as per laid down protocol. The protocol post arrival mandates that two per cent of the total passengers in a flight will undergo random testing at the airport. Such travellers in each flight will be identified by the airlines concerned, preferably from different countries.

They will submit the samples and will be allowed to leave the airport. If such travellers test positive, their samples would be sent for genomic sequencing. All travellers will self-monitor their health for next 14 days of arrival. Earlier, such travellers were required to undergo weeklong home quarantine.

The guidelines state if travellers under self-health monitoring develop signs and symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, they will immediately self-isolate and report to their nearest health facility or call national helpline number (1075)/ state helpline number. This Standard Operating Procedure will be valid from midnight of February 14 till further orders. Based on the risk assessment, this document shall be reviewed from time to time.

The guidelines further stipulate all travellers should submit complete and factual information in self-declaration form on the online air portal Suvidha before the scheduled travel, including last 14 days' travel details. They will also upload a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR report not earlier than 72 hrs prior to undertaking the travel or certificate of completing full primary vaccination schedule.

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