India Issues New Guidelines For International Travelers; Children Under The Age Of 5 Exempted From Pre-and Post-arrival COVID-19 Testing

The Indian Ministry of Health  on Thursday issued revised guidelines for international passengers reaching India. The new rules will come into effect from November 12.

Under the new guidelines, children under the age of 5 are exempted from both pre-and post-arrival testing. However, if they are found symptomatic for COVID-19 on arrival or during the home quarantine period, they will have to undergo testing and will be treated as per the laid down protocol.

The ministry guidelines state contacts of the suspect case are the co-passengers seated in the same row, three rows in the front and three rows behind, along with identified cabin crew.

Moreover, all the community contacts of those travelers who have tested positive (during the home quarantine period) will be subjected to quarantine for 14 days and will be tested as per ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) protocol.

The government had issued revised travel guidelines for international visitors last month, which superseded all guidelines issued on the subject on and after February 17, 2021.

As per these new rules, travelers fully vaccinated and coming from a country with which India has reciprocal arrangements for mutual acceptance of WHO approved COVID-19 vaccines will be allowed to leave the airport and need not undergo home quarantine and testing from October 25.

They will, however, have to produce a negative RT-PCR report. If partially or not vaccinated, the travelers need to undertake measures which include submission of sample for post-arrival COVID-19 test 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 in India and if negative, further self-monitor their health for next seven days.

With PTI inputs