-The international passengers will be required to submit a Self Declaration form on the online Air Suvidha portal before the scheduled travel.
-4 people were detected with the South Africa variant SARS-CoV-2 and 1 was detected with the Brazil variant on Tuesday.
The government has issued a new set of guidelines for the international travellers as new highly infectious strains have emerged and have been detected in India. South African SARS-CoV-2 and Brazilian strains are more fatal than Covid-19.
The Health Ministry said that 5 people have been detected with these new strains. The ministry also added that the number of people detected with the UK variant has gone up to 187.
From 23rd Feb, the international travellers will have to submit a Self Declaration Form (SDF) on the Air Suvidha portal before the scheduled travel. This new set of guidelines applies to all travellers coming to India except those coming from UK, Middle East and Europe.
The passengers, while filling the Self Declaration Form, will need to submit if they are disembarking at the arrival or taking further flights to reach their final destination in India. It is also mandatory for all international passengers, coming or transiting from flights operating from Europe, UK and Middle East, to declare their travel history of the past 14 days. They will mandatorily be subject to self-paid confirmatory molecular tests on the arrival at Indian airports.
Keeping in mind the testing requirements for travellers from UK, South Africa and Brazil who need to take connecting flights, the airlines must make sure to inform the passengers about the need of transit time of a minimum of 6 to 8 hours at the entry airport in India while booking their connecting flights.
The airlines will need to identify the travellers arriving from UK, South Africa and Brazil (during past 14 days) and divide these passengers either in-flight or during disembarking to facilitate the respective authorities as they follow the due protocols for these travellers.
Those coming from Brazil, UK and South Africa and testing positive (either at the airport or subsequently during home quarantine period or their contacts who turn positive) will be isolated in a separate isolation unit coordinated by the state health authorities.
Only asymptomatic passengers will be allowed to board after thermal screening. Those travelling via sea or land will also have to undergo the same protocol; the only point is that online facility is not yet available for such travellers.
Point-of-entry procedures are being followed by India for identifying international travellers, particularly the at-risk passengers through a multi-pronged strategy of thermal screening and testing.
It may be noted that international flights are suspended till Feb 28 and only the flights under air-bubble agreement are being operated.