Covid Omicron variant: travel restrictions imposed by some states in India – News
Control of incoming passengers, mandatory RT-PCR test and mandatory home quarantine for passengers
Fears of a new wave of Covid-19 triggered by the Omicron variant have seen several Indian states tighten rules and impose travel and related restrictions. State governments have also established their protocols for passengers landing at airports.
Maharashtra, one of the states hardest hit by the Covid crisis, which also saw a significant increase in the emergence of Omicron variants, has ruled out any blockade. But control of passengers arriving abroad has intensified at Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur airports.
According to Rajesh Tope, the state’s public health minister, the government follows the “3T” formula of testing, monitoring and treatment. “At the moment we are not thinking about any blockade in the state,” he said. “We will follow the situation closely and call for a halt to the instructions of the center, the state working group and the prime minister.”
The minister said Omicron’s cases have been sporadic and related to travel. “All infected people have only mild symptoms and the severity has not yet been established,” he added.
The state government has asked all international passengers to send their travel history within the last fortnight before boarding flights to cities in Maharashtra. There are separate check-in counters for passengers traveling from countries at risk. Institutional quarantine and RT-PCR tests are mandatory for these passengers. They will only be allowed to board connecting flights if the test results are negative.
As for domestic travelers, they will only be able to travel if they are fully vaccinated or have a negative report of the Covid test done 48 hours before the trip.
Karnataka has said that all international travelers from “at risk” countries will be required to take a mandatory RT-PCR test and should be quarantined at home for seven days. Those who are negative or asymptomatic should undergo home tests on the fifth day. Asymptomatic patients will be tested on the seventh day if they test positive and will be treated separately or hospitalized.
The government has set up additional test facilities at international airports. “A rigorous screening and testing strategy is required for international arrivals in view of the Covid-19 Omicron variant,” a government statement said.
“The availability of a variety of tests ensures faster passenger testing and better compliance with Covid’s appropriate behavior in airport waiting areas.”
The Delhi government has ordered all passengers from countries at risk to follow the seven-day home quarantine rules. Passengers traveling from almost a dozen countries will have to provide details of their journey and upload them to the official Air Suvidha portal. They must also present a negative RT-PCR test (no more than 72 hours); those who are positive will be transferred to a health center designated for isolation.
International passengers must undergo mandatory tests at Srinagar Airport in Jammu and Kashmir, followed by a seven-day home quarantine. Even after a negative RT-PCR report, they are forced to self-monitor for a week in quarantine at home.
Andhra Pradesh is monitoring the arrival of international passengers from South Africa and other neighboring countries; Those who test positive will be quarantined, while others will be able to go to their destination, but will be under observation.
International passengers arriving in Goa will need to submit an online self-declaration form; those traveling from high-risk countries will have to send samples and pay for a test and wait for the results at the airport. Those who are negative will have to be quarantined at home for seven days and then tested. Those that are positive will be isolated and treated. Passengers traveling from other countries will be tested at random at the airport.
Domestic passengers will have to bring a negative Covid report, but those traveling from Kerala will have to be quarantined at home for five days.
The Uttarakhand government has ordered all travelers to undergo mandatory tests. People who are symptomatic or positive will be quarantined for 14 days. Officials are conducting random tests at state borders.
In Madhya Pradesh, visitors will be required to undergo mandatory testing if they are unable to produce recent test reports.