NEW DELHI - India's federal health ministry Friday said all international passengers arriving in the country would have to undergo mandatory seven-day home quarantine starting from Jan. 11.
The order has been issued in the wake of rising Covid-19 cases in India driven by the highly transmissible Omicron variant.
"All travellers (including those 2 percent who are selected for random testing on arrival and found negative) will undergo home quarantine for seven days and shall undertake RT-PCR test on the eighth day of arrival in India," read the order.
"They should upload results of the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RTPCR) test done on the eighth day on the Air Suvidha (civil aviation) portal, which will be monitored by the respective state governments," said the directive.
If the Covid-19 test results come negative, passengers will be advised to self-monitor their health for the next seven days. However, if found positive, their samples will be further sent for genomic testing at the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium laboratory network.
"They shall be managed at isolation facility and treated as per the existing standard protocol," the guidelines said.
Passengers seated near them and cabin crew will be treated as contacts.
As per the new rules, all passengers will now have to submit a self-declaration form and a negative RT-PCR report on the online Air Suvidha portal before their journey. They also have to pre-book a Covid-19 test, which would be done on arrival.
Thermal screening will be carried out in respect of all the passengers by the health officials present at the airport.
"The passengers found to be symptomatic during screening shall be immediately isolated and taken to a medical facility. If tested positive, their contacts shall be identified and managed" in accordance with relevant protocols, said the order.
Travellers coming from "at-risk" countries will have to submit samples for Covid-19 testing at the point of arrival. They will be required to wait for their test results at the arrival airport before leaving or taking a connecting flight, the directive said.