We are in another year 2022, and the impact of COVID-19 is still there. However, 128 Crore people in India have been vaccinated partially and almost 47.7 Crore people have been fully vaccinated. The emergence of the new Omicron variant has come up with new travel restrictions for all of us. So, let’s have a look at new travel restrictions and guidelines set by the Indian government.
Domestic Travel Guidelines
Several Indian states have altered their travel restrictions in the wake of the new Omicron variant of COVID-19. So, if you are travelling from one state to other, make sure you know the travel restriction of that place.
Most of the states require an RT-PCR test on entry of any traveler except children under 5 years. The accepted test report is between 24-96 hours. However, the exact timings and guidelines vary from state to state.
In some states, you will be asked for home quarantine and self-monitor your health for 7 days if your RT-PCR result is negative and you are asymptomatic. However, if you are symptomatic on arrival, then you may have to quarantine for 14 days (home + institutional). Also, you may be asked for a second test on the 8th day of your quarantine.
International Travel Guidelines
The Government of India has changed the COVID-19 travel guidelines for international travellers due to a lack of study on the transmissibility and consequences of the new Omicron form. Although the Indian government has not yet issued any flight bans as a result of the Omicron virus, several new measures for international visitors to India have been implemented. You must ensure that you fulfill these requirements before arriving in India.
Arriving international passengers shall submit a self-declaration form on the online Air Suvidha portal before the scheduled travel. Also, they have to mention the history of the last 14 days. The same will be verified by relevant authorities.
Covid-19 RT-PCR Report
All arriving passengers shall carry a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR report. The test should have been conducted within 72 hours of their departure. The covid test should be from an ICMR approved lab.
On Arrival Test
Passengers arriving from COVID 'at-risk' nations such as South Africa, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Israel must now undergo testing on arrival.
Airports have also been instructed to randomly choose 2% of all passengers arriving from countries where the Omicron variant has not been reported for RT-PCR testing. Passengers who tested negative shall undergo quarantine for 7 days and self-monitor their health, while those who test positive, will be isolated at government-designated places.
Passengers tested negative shall undergo an RT-PCR test on the 8th day of arrival in India. They shall upload their test report on the Air Suvidha portal (to be monitored by the respective States/UTs).
Passengers who tested positive on arrival at the airport will be sent to mandatory isolation. Also, their samples will be sent to the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium laboratories for further testing.
Children under 5 years are exempted from the RT-PCR test on arrival. However, if they have any symptoms for COVID-19 on arrival, they shall undergo testing and be treated accordingly.
Make sure you are fully vaccinated before planning your travel to any place as it will be your added protection. Also, keep your mask always on and maintain social distancing while going anywhere in public. Apart from this, follow every safety measure as recommended by the government and eat healthy.