The subvariant of Omicron BF.7 has caused a massive surge in COVID cases across China. With this, other countries have started taking several precautions in order to avoid a similar situation. Acting quick on the recent developments, India has also issued fresh international travel guidelines for travelers visiting the country.
As the COVID-19 cases were in control, many travel restrictions were eased last month, which also included the discontinuation of the Air Suvidha portal. But as the COVID cases continue to rise in China and numerous other countries, the Union Health Ministry issued some international travel guidelines for people traveling through flights to India. Some of them are mentioned below:
- Thermal screening of all international passengers visiting India has already begun from 24th December.
- Passengers flying via international flights should be completely vaccinated and must carry the proof of their vaccination.
- Random testing of nearly 2% of international passengers has already begun at various airports in India.
- If any passenger is found to have COVID symptoms during the screening, he/she will be asked to be isolated and sent to a medical facility to receive proper health care.
- If a passenger is randomly selected for a COVID-19 test, he/she can leave after the collection of the sample and is not required to wait until the results.
- In case any passenger’s COVID-19 test results come back positive, the samples shall be sent to INSACOG laboratory network for genetic testing.
- Although children under the age of 12 years will not be randomly tested, they might be asked to take a test in case they are found symptomatic.
- Travelers should also wear masks and continue to take care of basic hygiene practices such as sanitization of hands.
- Passengers must also keep a check on their health and reach out to the nearest health facility or connect via the national helpline number; 1075, in case of medical emergencies.
- The Union Health Ministry has now made it mandatory for international passengers flying from China, Japan, Thailand, South Korea and Hong Kong to fill out the Air Suvidha form. Although it hasn’t been made compulsory for arrivals from other countries, it might become mandatory for passengers on all international flights landing in India based on the COVID cases in different countries.
What does this Mean for Tourism in India?
The situation in India is under control with nearly 3,428 active COVID-19 infections. With random testing across various airports and masks being made mandatory at certain places, precautions are being taken to avoid a surge in India. Tourism in India will not be majorly affected unless a lockdown is announced, which looks unlikely as of now. Apart from these, many tourist attractions have revised their travel restrictions. For instance, it is now mandatory for international tourists visiting Taj Mahal to take a COVID-19 test.
If you are traveling to India soon, it is recommended to adhere to all these international travel guidelines. If you are cautious, your trip to India will be as amazing as you have planned!