India on 7th January 2022, made 7 day home quarantine mandatory for all international arrivals and an RT-PCR test on the 8th day, as it issued revised guidelines for all international passengers. These guidelines released on Friday come into force from 11 January 2022 and will remain effective till further government orders as there is a huge Omicron-driven surge in COVID cases in the country.
As per the existing rules, which have been retained in the revised guidelines, passengers coming from countries specified as “at risk” have to submit sample for COVID testing post-arrival and they required to wait for the results at the airport before leaving or taking a connecting flight. If tested negative, they need to undergo home quarantine for seven days and then get their RT-PCR test done on the eighth. They are also required to upload the results of the RT-PCR test conducted on the 8th day on the Air Suvidha portal (to be monitored by the respective States/Union Territory).
If tested positive, passengers will be sent to an isolation facility and their samples will be sent for genome testing. Passengers seated near them (co-passengers seated in the same row, three rows in front and three rows behind) and cabin crew will be treated as contacts as well.
The updated list of nations from where passengers would need to follow additional measures on arrival, including post-arrival testing (countries at-risk) are countries in Europe including The United Kingdom, South Africa, Brazil, Botswana, China, Ghana, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Hong Kong, Israel, Congo, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Nigeria, Tunisia and Zambia.
For flights from countries that are not on the “at-risk” list, two per cent of the passengers picked randomly, will be tested on arrival. Children under 5 are 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, according to the laid down protocol.