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Amid concerns over new variant ‘Omicron’, India tightens travel rules, makes negative COVID test must for travellers

New Delhi: As ‘variant of concern’ Omicron sent the world into panic, India too has started tightening its travel rules to prevent the transmission of the new COVID-19 variant.

On Saturday, the PM had chaired a review meeting on COVID-19 situation and vaccination with top government officials. The statement released by the PMO after the meet had said, “PM highlighted the need for monitoring all international arrivals, their testing as per guidelines, with a specific focus on countries identified ‘at risk’. PM also asked officials to review plans for easing international travel restrictions in light of the emerging new evidence.”

As preventive measures, India has added several countries to the list from where travellers would need to follow additional measures on arrival in the wake of the detection of COVID variant ‘Omicron’. These countries include South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Israel, Hong Kong, countries in Europe including the UK.

These states have made RT-PCR must for travellers:

Gujarat

It is mandatory for all travellers arriving from other countries to undergo RT-PCR test at the airports in Gujarat, if they are not fully vaccinated. The RT-PCR tests have been made mandatory for the travellers arriving from Europe, UK, Brazil, South Africa, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, and Hong Kong.

The arrivals from these at risk countries will have to undergo home quarantine for seven days, and will be required to take another test on the eighth day after arrival.

Travellers from at risk countries who are fully vaccinated will also have to quarantine themselves for 14 days after arrival, reported.

Karnataka

The screening of international passengers at airports has been intensified with heightened border checks.

The RT-PCR test reports have been made compulsory for those arriving from Kerala and Maharashtra.

Maharashtra

Maharashtra has mandated negative RT-PCR testing or full vaccination proof for domestic travellers.

While all travellers coming from any international destination will be governed by directions of the Government of India in this respect, the government said.

If a passenger tests positive for COVID-19, then their samples will be sent for genome sequencing.