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International travellers can now get tested at airports to avoid institutional quarantine

The health ministry's new guidelines state that if passengers arrive without RT-PCR negative reports or don't get tested, they will have to undergo mandatory quarantine.

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New Delhi: International travellers wishing to seek exemption from a 14-day institutional quarantine can now undergo RT-PCR testing at airports where this provision is available, according to fresh guidelines released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Thursday.

Travellers will have to submit a self-declaration form on an online portal at least 72 hours prior to their journey. But they can also submit this form on arrival.

“Travelers may also seek exemption from institutional quarantine by submitting a
negative RT-PCR test report. This test should have been conducted within 72 hours prior
to undertaking the journey. The test report should be uploaded on the portal for
consideration,” the guidelines state.

People also have to give an undertaking on the portal that they would nevertheless abide by the decision of government authorities on whether to home quarantine, institutional quarantine or self-monitor for 14 days.

“All such passengers opting for exemption from institutional quarantine…shall undertake self-monitoring of their health and will be exempted from quarantine,” the guidelines state.

The fresh guidelines have made relaxations on the rules imposed on 2 August, including that travellers have to undergo mandatory quarantine for 14 days.

Also read: Airlines face fresh crisis as UK government bans non-work overseas travel

Quarantine must for those not undergoing RT-PCR tests

The guidelines also state that if passengers arrive without RT-PCR negative reports and don’t opt to get tested at the airports either, then they will have to undergo mandatory seven days institutional quarantine and seven days home quarantine.

The guidelines also advise passengers to download Aarogya Setu app on their phones. Also, only asymptomatic travellers will be allowed to board flights after thermal screening.

If on arrival, a traveller is found to be symptomatic, then she or he will be isolated immediately and taken to a medical facility according to government protocol.

Also read: Over 2 million Indians returned from abroad through Vande Bharat Mission, says MEA


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