Passengers from countries categorized as 'at risk' by the Union Health Ministry will have to undergo COVID-19 tests upon arrival in Gujarat if they are not fully vaccinated, an official said here Saturday.
Nine countries have been classified as 'at risk' following worldwide concern about a new variant of coronavirus, designated as Omicron.
"As per the letter issued to us on Friday by the Union Health Ministry, RT-PCR test is mandatory for all incoming travelers who do not have vaccination certificate," said state Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Manoj Aggarwal.
Those who are fully vaccinated will also be screened at the airport and allowed to proceed if they do not show any symptoms of the infection, he said.
The countries categorized as 'at risk' are United Kingdom, South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand and Zimbabwe, Aggarwal said. There are two international airports in Gujarat -- one in Ahmedabad and another in Surat. The state has been asked to follow the November 11 guidelines of the Union home ministry. The guidelines prescribe that if travelers from countries categorized as 'at risk' (and with which India has reciprocal arrangements for mutual acceptance of WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccines) are fully vaccinated, they will have to quarantine themselves for 14 days post arrival. If they are partially vaccinated or not vaccinated, they will have to submit samples for COVID-19 test.
Such passengers will have to remain in home quarantine for seven days, and will have to take another test on the 8th day of arrival in India.
They will be required to undergo further self-monitoring for another week even if tested negative for the virus. Scheduled international flights to and from India will be resumed from December 15 after 20 months of coronavirus-induced suspension, the Civil Aviation Ministry had said on Friday. The countries deemed 'at risk' by the Union Health Ministry will be allowed to operate only a certain percentage of their pre-COVID scheduled flights, the Aviation Ministry had said.
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