In what comes as important news for all international air travellers, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Sunday issued fresh guidelines for arriving international passengers, in supersession of the guidelines that were issued on the subject on May 24.
The new guidelines will be operational from August 8.
Here are the new guidelines on international air travel:
Before Planning for Travel:
- All travellers should submit the self-declaration form on the online portal (www.newdelhiairport.in) at least 72 hours before the scheduled travel.
- They should also give an undertaking on the portal that they would undergo mandatory quarantine for 14 days i.e. 7 days paid institutional quarantine at their own cost, followed by 7 days of isolation at home with self-monitoring of health.
- 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 exemption under para (iii) above, they shall apply to the online portal (iv. www.newdelhiairport.in) at least 72 hours before boarding. The decision taken by the government as communicated on the online portal will be final.
- Travelers may also seek exemption from institutional quarantine by submitting a negative RTPCR test report on arrival. This test should have been conducted within 96 hrs 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.
- Dos and Don’ts shall be provided along with a ticket to the travellers by the agencies concerned.
- All passengers shall be advised to download the Arogya Setu app on their mobile devices.
- At the time of boarding the flight/ ship, only asymptomatic travellers will be allowed to board after the thermal screening.
- Passengers arriving through the land borders will also have to undergo the same protocol as above, and only those who are asymptomatic will be enabled to cross the border into India.
- Suitable precautionary measures such as environmental sanitation and disinfection shall be ensured at the airports.
- During boarding and at the airports, all possible measures to ensure social distancing to be ensured
- Travelers who had not filled in self-declaration form on the portal shall fill the same in duplicate in the flight/ship and a copy of the same will be given to Health and Immigration officials present at the airport/ seaport/ land port. Alternatively, such travelers may submit a self-declaration form on the online portal at arriving airport/ seaport/ land port as per the directions of the concerned authorities, if such a facility is available.
- Suitable announcement about COVID-19 including precautionary measures to be followed shall be made at airports/port and in flights/ships and during transit.
- While onboard the flight/ ship, required precautions such as wearing masks, environmental hygiene, respiratory hygiene, hand hygiene, etc. are to be observed by airline/ ship staff, crew, and all passengers.
- Deboarding should be done ensuring social distancing.
- Thermal screening would be carried out in respect of all the passengers by the Health officials present at the airport/ seaport/ land port. The self-declaration form filled online shall be shown (or a copy of physical self-declaration form to be submitted) to the airport health staff.
- The passengers found to be symptomatic during screening shall be immediately isolated and taken to a medical facility as per health protocol.
- Post thermal screening, the passengers who have been exempted from institutional quarantine (decision as indicated on the online portal in advance) will show the same to the respective State Counters on their cell phones/other modes before being allowed home quarantine for 14 days.
- The remaining passengers shall be taken to suitable institutional quarantine facilities, to be arranged by the respective State/ UT Governments.
- These passengers shall be kept under institutional quarantine for a minimum period of 7 days. They shall be tested as per ICMR protocol available here.
If they test positive, they shall be assessed clinically.
- If they are assessed as asymptomatic/pre-symptomatic/ very mild cases, they will be allowed home isolation or isolated in the COVID-19 Care Centre (both public & private facilities) as appropriate.
- Those having mild/ moderate/ severe symptoms will be admitted to dedicated COVID Health facilities and managed accordingly.
If found negative, they shall be advised to further isolate themselves at home and self-monitor their health for 7 days.
In case, any symptoms develop they shall inform the district surveillance officer or the state/national call center (1075).