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Centre Relaxes Covid Guidelines For International Passengers

According to the revised guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for international arrivals, children below the age of five are cleared from both the pre and post-arrival testing for Covid-19. However, the guidelines also mentioned that if the symptoms of coronavirus are seen in them after their arrival or during their home quarantine period, they shall undergo testing and shall follow the treatment orderly. 

“Children under 5 years of age 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 be treated as per laid down protocol," it said.

These standard revised guidelines will come into effect from November 12 (00.00 Hrs IST) till further orders, the ministry stated. 

The guidelines were revised keeping in mind the declining numbers in coronavirus cases and effective covid-19 vaccination with some regional exceptions. However, the ministry also mentioned that it is still important to monitor the continuously changing nature of the coronavirus and the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 variants. The new guidelines were said to be formulated following a risk-based approach. 

The revised guidelines also state that at least 15 days have passed since the completion of the Covid-19 vaccination schedule. 

Other guidelines include - 

-Home quarantine is exempted for travellers who are fully vaccinated and are arriving from a country which has corresponding arrangements with India regarding the acceptance of a common WHO approved Covid-19 vaccine. They will be allowed to leave the airport directly but are advised to self-monitor their health for the next 14 days of their arrival. 

-Travellers who are partially or not vaccinated will have to submit a post-arrival Covid-19 test sample at the point of arrival. Only after then can they leave the airport. They will have to get home quarantined for the next seven days. On the eighth day of the arrival, they will have to retest and even if the report comes negative, they will need to self-monitor their health for seven days more. 

-If the travellers who are quarantined at home or are self-health monitoring develop signs and symptoms of Covid-19 or test positive for Covid-19, they need to immediately self isolate and

call their closest health facility or call the national helpline number (1075)/ state helpline number.

-Social distancing and thermal screening is compulsory during deplaning on arrival. 

-The self-declaration form should be shown to the health staff of the airport. 

-Passengers found symptomatic during the thermal screening shall be instantly isolated and taken to a medical facility. If the report is positive, the people suspected to be in any possible contact with that person should be identified. 

-Contacts can include co-passengers seated in the same row, plus three rows in front and three rows behind. The cabin crew should also be tested. As per the Indian Council of Medical Research’s protocol, the guidelines stated that all the community contacts of travellers who have tested positive will be quarantined for 14 days and be tested. 

-International travellers using seaports or land ports will have to adhere to the same guidelines. The protocol followed by these passengers will be the same, the only exception being the unavailability of online registration. 


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