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India to make COVID negative report mandatory for international passengers from high risk countries.

Dec 23, 2022, 06:00 pm

The India government is on the verge of making COVID-19 negative reports mandatory for international travellers arriving from countries with high numbers of positive cases, union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Friday. The new ruling is likely to come into effect from next week.

This comes as there is a sudden rise in COVID-19 cases in many countries such China, Japan, South Korea, the US, France, Greece and Italy.

"In the next one week, selected countries will be identified where the caseload is higher today," minister Mansukh Mandaviya said. "People from there who come to India will have to upload their (COVID-19) RT-PCR reports and only then come."

The passengers will have to upload their reports on a government website and undergo thermal screening upon landing, Mandaviya said.

Random COVID checks for international flyers

On Thursday, the Centre issued new travel guidelines for international travellers at the airport, which include random Covid tests for a certain number of passengers on a particular flight.

In a communication on Friday, the ministry said that airlines are required to direct their crew members to lead and bring identified 2 per cent of international arriving passengers to the testing facility at the airport.

"The airport operators would create necessary infrastructure to facilitate random testing of international arriving passengers at their respective airports," the communication said.

After the random testing, the passenger has to furnish the correct contact and address details to the Airport Health Officers (APHOs) airport authorities

"The cost of testing shall be reimbursed by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare on submission of duly certified bills to APHOs," it said.

Airlines concerned will identify such travellers on each flight, preferably from different countries. Such travellers can leave the airport after giving the samples.

Earlier this week, the country's government asked the Indian states to look out for any new variants of the virus and urged people to wear masks in crowded areas, citing an increase in COVID-19 cases in China and other parts of the globe.

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