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Omicron: Maha Clamps New Rules for Fliers; 14-Day Isolation, Covid Test for All on Arrival

Scientists discovered the new variant with a 'very unusual constellation of mutations' on November 23.
(Image: Reuters)

Scientists discovered the new variant with a 'very unusual constellation of mutations' on November 23. (Image: Reuters)

The new order says that foreign fliers arriving from ‘at risk’ countries will be deplaned on priority and separate counters will be arranged for their checking.

The Maharashtra government on Tuesday imposed new rules for international passengers in the wake of the global alarm sparked by the new Omicron Covid-19 variant with a “horrific” spike profile.

According to the new order, the immigration department will check the foreign travel history of 15 days of all passengers landing in the state. A special proforma is being readied for the purpose. The order stated that violation in declaring travel details will invite action.

The government has also mandated 7-day home isolation for all those who test negative on arrival. This is besides the mandatory institutional quarantine of 7 days for those arriving from ‘at risk nations’.

The nations that are currently on the ‘at-risk’ list of India are European countries, including the UK, South Africa, Brazil, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong and Israel.

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The state dispensation further said that these curbs are beyond the restrictions imposed by the Centre on November 28.

Here’s a look at the new norms:

– International passengers arriving from ‘at risk’ countries will be deplaned on priority and separate counters will be arranged for their checking. All such passengers will undergo a mandatory 7-day institutional quarantine and RT-PCR test to be carried out on days 2, 4 and 7 for them. If any of the tests are found to be positive, then the passenger will be shifted to a hospital. In case of all tests are found to be negative, the passengers will have to undergo a further 7 days of home quarantine.

– Passengers from any other countries except the ‘at risk’ countries will have to compulsorily undergo RT-PCR tests at the airport on arrival and on being found negative, will have to undergo 14 days of home quarantine. If found positive, they will be shifted to a hospital.

– In the case of domestic air travel, passengers travelling within the state will either have to be fully vaccinated or compulsorily carry an RT-PCR test within 48 hours of the time of arrival. In the case of passengers from other states, a negative RT-PCR test within 48 hours of arrival will be compulsory without exceptions.

– In case of an international passenger having a connecting flight to any other airport in India, the passenger shall undergo an RT-PCR test at the first arrival airport in Maharashtra and only on being found negative, will he/she be allowed to board the connecting flight.

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The Centre had on Sunday revised the travel guidelines for international passengers and mandated Covid testing for travellers from ‘countries at-risk’ post-arrival. These rules will come into effect from tomorrow (December 1).

According to these revised rules, travellers from the 11 ‘countries at-risk’ will need to take Covid test post-arrival and wait for results at the airport. If the traveller is tested negative, they have to be home quarantined for 7 days. They will be re-tested on the eighth day and if found negative, they will have to further self-monitor themselves for the next 7 days, the guideline had stated.

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first published:November 30, 2021, 22:36 IST