Union Health Ministry relaxes Covid norms for foreign arrivals coming to India


By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Relaxing norms for international travellers, the government on Thursday announced that children below five are exempted from pre  and post-arrival Covid-19 testing 19 in India. The latest guidelines for international travel come at a time when cases continue to surge in countries such as Germany, which recorded more than 50,000 cases just on Thursday. However, overall infections in India have been low for a few months now.

These new guidelines issued by the Union health ministry specified if children below five years are symptomatic on arrival or during home quarantine,  they will have to undergo tests and will be treated as per the laid down protocol. This standard operating procedure shall be valid from November 12 till further orders, the ministry stated. 

The government underlined that the global trajectory of the pandemic continues to decline with certain regional variations and emphasised the need to monitor the changing nature of virus and evolution of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern.

On February 17, the government had issued the last detailed guidelines for international travel. On Thursday, the ministry said it decided to review the guidelines in view of increasing vaccination coverage and the changing nature of the pandemic.

According to the guidelines, if travelers are fully vaccinated and coming from a country with which India has reciprocal arrangements for mutual acceptance of vaccines, they shall be allowed to leave the airport and need not undergo home quarantine. They have to self-monitor for 14 days.

If partially or not vaccinated, travellers need to undertake measures including submission of sample for post-arrival testing at the point of arrival after which they will be allowed to leave the airport, home quarantine for seven days, re-test on the eighth day of arrival and if negative, further self-monitor for seven days. The self-declaration form filled online shall be shown to the airport health staff upon arrival in India.

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