The Centre on Sunday revised the guidelines for the international arrivals in the wake of new Covid-19 variant, Omicron.

This variant is designated as a Variant of Concern (VOC) by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The new guidelines will be effective from December 1.

The Union Health Ministry, in a statement, said: “The existing guidelines have been revised in view of reporting of a new variant of SARS-CoV-2 (B.1.1.529; named Omicron) which has been now classified as VOC by the WHO.”

The government said that international arrivals will now have to upload their 14-day travel history and valid negative RT-PCR test reports on Air Suvidha portal before embarking on their journey to India.

The RT-PCR test report should not be more than 72 hours old, added the statement.

According to the new guidelines, the passengers travelling from countries that are categorised as ‘at-risk’ will have to undergo testing on arrival.

If the passengers test positive, their samples will be sent for genomic sequencing, and they will be sent to institutional quarantine.

If they test negative, they will be asked to remain in home quarantine for seven days following which they will take a test on the 8th day and continue monitoring their health for the next 7 days.

The government has listed — South Africa, China, the United Kingdom, European countries, Bangladesh, Brazil, Botswana, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Hong Kong, Singapore and Israel on ‘At Risk’ segment.

The tests for passengers from ‘at-risk nations will be self-paid while the cost of the random tests will be borne by the Civil Aviation Ministry.

“Travellers from countries excluding the ‘at risk’ countries will be allowed to leave the airport and shall self-monitor their health for 14 days post-arrival,” said the statement.

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