Tuesday, 29 November 2022

Fully vaccinated travelers from 99 countries are free from quarantine on arrival in India

Fully vaccinated travelers from 99 countries are free from quarantine on arrival in India

According to the latest updated notification by the Union government, travelers from 99 countries fully vaccinated against coronavirus disease (Covid-19) have been exempted from mandatory quarantine on arrival in India.

These countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Israel, have been listed under ‘Category A’ in the government notification. Although travelers from these 99 nations have been exempted from mandatory quarantine, they will be required to follow certain norms that remain the same for all travelers.

Countries that feature in the ‘Category A’ list

As many as 99 nations are included in the ‘Category A’ list as mentioned in the notification by the central government. The United States, France, Israel, Great Britain, Germany, Spain, Australia, Belgium, Bangladesh, Finland, Croatia, Hungary, Russia, the Philippines, Qatar, Singapore, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Turkey, and Nepal are some of the countries that feature in the list.

The reason ‘Category A’ countries given Covid-19 relaxations

According to the Centre’s notification, India shares an agreement with some of the 99 nations on “mutual recognition of [Covid-19] vaccination certificates” of nationally recognized or the World Health Organisation (WHO) identified vaccines. On the other hand, some countries in the ‘Category A’ list, though they do not have mutual recognition of the Covid-19 vaccine agreement with India, they permit quarantine-free entry in their land to fully vaccinated Indian nationals.

The notification explained that the decision to offer some relaxations to Covid-19 protocols for international travelers from the 99 countries had been made “on the basis of reciprocity,” the notification explained.

Covid-19 protocols that travelers from the ‘Category A’ list need to follow

Travelers from the 99 nations must submit a self-declaration of their fully vaccinated status on the Air Suvidha portal and produce a negative RT-PCR test report conducted within 72 hours before. The passengers also need to submit a declaration related to the authenticity of the RT-PCR report and “will be guilty to criminal prosecution, if found otherwise,” the notification stated.

Fully vaccinated travelers from ‘Category A’ countries are exempted from compulsory quarantine. However, they must self-monitor their health for the 14 days starting from arrival in India. If they develop symptoms and signs of Covid-19 or test positive for the infection on re-testing, “they will immediately self-isolate and report to their nearest health facility or call National helpline number (1075)/State Helpline Number,” the notification noted.

Travelers, who have taken one dose or have not been vaccinated against Covid-19, must submit their samples for testing on arrival in India. They also need to undertake home quarantine for seven days, retake a Covid-19 test on the eighth day, and if found negative, “further self-monitor” their health for the next seven days.

Fully vaccinated travelers from 99 countries are free from quarantine on arrival in India 1unsplash image

Read More: Centre changes guidelines for international passengers arriving in India

Countries categorized as ‘Countries at risk by India.

Ten countries feature in this list, including South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Zimbabwe, Singapore, New Zealand, Mauritius, Bangladesh, and the UK.

Guidelines for travelers from nations ‘Considered at-risk but feature in ‘Category A’ list.

Singapore, Zimbabwe, and the UK are three nations considered at risk by India and yet feature in the ‘Category A’ list. But, travelers from these countries will still be exempted from mandatory quarantine. They will be permitted to leave the airport on arrival in India, with the requirement to self-monitor their health fitness for the next 14 days.

Duration Covid-19 relaxations effective for the 99 countries

According to the government notification, the relaxations have been effective since November 12 and will remain until further orders. However, based on “risk assessment,” the guidelines will be reviewed from “time to time.”

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