Covid test must for travelers from 'omicron-hit countries' on arrival at Delhi airport
New Delhi, Nov 30: Amid concerns over Omicron variant of coronavirus, the DDMA on Tuesday asked all concerned authorities to ensure strict compliance of the Centre's revised guidelines for passengers arriving at Delhi's IGI airport from high-risk countries, including a mandatory seven-day home quarantine.
In its order, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) said the revised guidelines issued by the Union health ministry shall be valid from Wednesday till further orders. In view of reporting of a new variant of SARS-CoV-2 (B.1.1.529) named Omicron, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had issued revised guidelines for international passengers on November 28, the DDMA said.
"All authorities concerned shall ensure strict compliance of aforesaid Guidelines/SOP prescribed for International Arrivals issued by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India with effect from December 1, 2021, till further orders and shall adequately inform and sensitise the field functionaries about these instructions for strict compliance, in letter and spirit," the order stated.
The passengers arriving at the Indira Gandhi International Airport from high-risk countries, where the incidence of the new Covid variant has been reported, will be required to undergo seven-day home quarantine as per the Centre's advisory, it said. According to the revised guidelines of the Union health ministry, passengers travelling from or transiting through "at-risk" countries will have to undergo RT-PCR test on arrival in India and will be required to wait for the results before leaving the airport or taking a connecting flight.
Travellers coming from countries other than those listed as "at risk" will be allowed to leave the airport and shall self-monitor their health for 14 days after arrival, but five per cent of them will be randomly tested at the airport, the revised guidelines stated.
The concerned airlines should identify the five per cent of such travellers to be tested in each flight, preferably from different countries. Such travellers shall be escorted by the airlines or the Ministry of Civil Aviation authorities to the testing area on arrival and the cost of testing of such travellers shall be borne by the ministry.
The guidelines said that airlines will allow boarding of only those passengers who have filled in the self-declaration form on the Air Suvidha portal and uploaded the negative RT-PCR test report.
This test should have been conducted within 72 hours prior to undertaking the journey. In another order on Tuesday, the DDMA extended permission for all activities except political, cultural, social, religious, sports, entertainment and festival gatherings till December 15.
Countries in 'at risk' category:
1. European countries, including the United Kingdom
2. South Africa
8. New Zealand
11. Hong Kong