Indian Airport Authorities Warn Strict Actions Against Travelers Violating Omicron Rules: Report

The Delhi airport authorities have warned that  passengers from ‘at risk’ countries who are not adhering to  Covid protocol will have to face strict actions.

The strict guidelines for international passengers , especially coming from ‘at-risk’ countries, came into effect from on December 2 midnight amid rising concerns over the emergence of the COVID variant Omicron.

Countries from where the travelers would need to follow additional measures on arrival in India are South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Israel, Hong Kong, countries in Europe including the UK.

The Indian government has made a negative RT-PCR test (not older than 72 hours) and home quarantine mandatory for people coming to India from such countries.

But news agency ANI quoted airport officials as saying that passengers arriving from ‘at risk’ countries are not following seven-day home quarantine rules. The officials said that many were found meeting people and visiting places.

“District administration and Delhi police have been asked to verify and report the status of people under mandatory home quarantine. If they are found flouting the Covid-19 protocol, then action will be taken against them,” ANI quoted one of the airport officials as saying.

The official further said that hotels where some of these travellers stay, have been directed to extend all possible assistance.

Eleven countries have been put under the ‘at risk’ category by the Indian government. People coming from here have been directed to follow additional Covid rules. They have to submit details of their last 14 days of travel and upload them on government’s Air Suvidha portal.

Additionally, they have to be under home quarantine for a minimum of seven days even if their RT-PCR report is negative. Travelers who test positive will be taken to a designated health facility for isolation.

The Delhi airport also said on Twitter on Monday that testing capacity has been updated to ensure smooth flow of the international arrival process. This has been done after chaotic scenes were witnessed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) due to the new guidelines which came into effect from December 1.

Earlier, it was reported that 28-year old passenger from U.S who created ruckus at the Jamshedpur airport and fled with swab sample had been asked to appear again for the test by the health department authorities.

The officials got in touch with him over the phone on Saturday and requested him to come for the test, additional chief medical officer Sahir Pall said.

Not just this man, several other foreign returnees to Jamshedpur and the rest of East Singhbhum are not cooperating with health officials when it comes to Covid tests, sources said. Health officials had sought police help to ensure that the passengers from the US come to a Covid test center.

Some of them are switching off their phones soon after leaving the airport. Some others are providing their international numbers with the authorities, sources said, according to a Times of India report.