Muscat: Indian nationals in Oman and other overseas countries who are flying home during the COVID-19 pandemic can avoid the mandatory 14-day quarantine, if they test negative for the disease before flying home, and present these results to the authorities upon landing.
The new guidelines were issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of the Government of India, as part of its rules for international arrivals coming to the country.
“All travellers should submit self-declaration form on the online portal (www.newdelhiairport.in) at least 72 hours before the scheduled travel,” said the ministry guidelines. “Travellers may also seek exemption from institutional quarantine by submitting a negative RTPCR test report on arrival. This test should have been conducted within 96 hours prior to undertaking the journey.
“The test report should be uploaded on the portal for consideration,” they added. “Each passenger shall also submit a declaration with respect to authenticity of the report and will be liable for criminal prosecution, if found otherwise. The test report could also be produced upon arrival at the point of entry airport in India.”
Under current Indian quarantine regulations, passengers returning from abroad must spend the first seven days of the quarantine period in a hospital, borne at their expense, followed by seven days at home. Exceptions are provided for people who are unable to commit to this, such as pregnant women, those who are seriously ill, have suffered a death in the family, or have elderly parents and/or young children at home.
“Only for compelling reasons/ cases of human distress such as pregnancy, death in family, serious illness and parent(s) with children of the age of 10 years or below, home quarantine may be permitted for 14 days,” explained the ministry.
“If they wish to seek such exemption, they shall apply to the online portal (www.newdelhiairport.in) at least 72 hours before boarding,” they added. “The decision taken by the government as communicated on the online portal will be final.”
Before boarding their planes home, travellers are required to fill in a self-declaration form which states that they will undergo mandatory quarantine.
Travelers who have not filled in this self-declaration form on the portal shall fill the same in duplicate on board the flight, and a copy of the same will be given to health and immigration officials present at the airport. Alternatively, such travellers may submit self-declaration forms on the online portal after arriving, per the directions of the concerned authorities, if such facility is available.
Thermal screening of passengers will be conducted, both before they board the plane, and after they land. Those who are found to have a high temperature on landing will be immediately taken to health isolation facilities.