Covid BF.7: New Guidelines For Air Travel From Today. Testing Restarts At Airports In India

Covid BF.7: New guidelines for air travel from Saturday. Testing restarts at airports in India

As China sees a huge spike in COVID cases, international travellers arriving from the country and other nations will now be subjected to random sample testing for Coronavirus at airports. This move comes in view of the recent surge in COVID cases in some parts of the world and after reviewing the current COVID-19 situation in India.

As per the latest news reports, three cases of Omicron subvariant BF.7, apparently the strain that is responsible for driving China’s current surge of COVID cases, have been detected in India so far. India got into action to review India’s COVID preparedness and advised people to mask up in crowded places to prevent the spread of the virus, amid fears that the wave of infections in China might spawn new mutations.

COVID BF.7: Latest guidelines for travellers coming in to India

  • Starting 10am on Saturday, 24 December, all passengers coming into India will have to undergo a mandatory thermal screening. 
  • Anyone found symptomatic will be isolated and taken to a designated medical facility.
  • Further, 2% of all passengers on each incoming international flight will be subjected to a COVID-19 test on arrival. These passengers will be selected at random. Passengers need not wait for the test results to arrive—they will be allowed to leave after giving the sample.

These new measures in India come amid a spike of COVID cases in China, Brazil, Japan, US and Korea. As of Wednesday evening, 4 cases of the Omicron subvariant BF.7 have been detected in India. Of these, two cases have been reported from Gujarat, one in Odisha. The most recent case is in Vadodara, where a person who arrived from the US tested positive for the BF.7 variant of coronavirus. Officials stress that there is no need for panic, and that India’s COVID numbers are currently at their lowest since the pandemic began, and have been in a steady decline for the past 5 months. India has advised people to mask-up in public places, although this is not  mandatory yet.

India is likely to reintroduce mandatory Air Suvidha forms that will have details of the RT-PCR test that has been conducted 72 hours prior to travel, or complete vaccination proof for those coming from China and other countries reporting high numbers of COVID cases.

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