To combat a surge in Covid cases in India caused by the massive Omicron outbreak, new rules that take effect on Tuesday will require foreigners to spend a week in quarantine when they arrive in India and test on the eighth day.
Currently, 19 countries are categorized as “at risk”; nine more were added since December.
A passenger who tests positive will be sent to an isolation facility and their samples will be sent to a lab for genome testing. If the passenger stays in isolation for seven days, they must take an RT-PCR test. Passengers seated nearby and cabin crew are treated as contacts.
The rules state that, if the test is negative, the passengers should self-monitor their health for another seven days. Passengers on flights from countries not on the “at-risk” list will be tested on arrival, in two per cent of the cases.
The new rules come as India has reported 1,17,100 new cases of Covid, a 28% increase in just 24 hours. Over a lakh cases have been reported in just a week as the virus spreads at an unprecedented pace thanks to the Omicron variant.
In case a passenger is found to be symptomatic during screening, they will be isolated and taken to a medical facility. Contacts of passengers who test positive will be notified. A traveler under home quarantine or self-health monitoring who begins to show signs and symptoms of Covid or tests positive will immediately self-isolate and report to the nearest medical facility.
Those entering the country from countries considered at risk have to undergo a test, then wait for the results before departing or taking a connecting flight.
India currently has 3,007 cases of the highly contagious Omicron, which has spread to 27 states, including Maharashtra (876) and Delhi (465).