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Centre relaxes Covid travel norms for passengers from China, other countries

Amid declining Covid cases in the country, the Center relaxed the travel norms for passengers from China and other countries. However, the random testing of 2 per cent travelers coming to India will continue.

Updating the ‘Guidelines for International Arrivals’, the Health Ministry has dropped the existing requirements of pre-departure Covid-19 testing and uploading of Self-Health Declaration for international travellers coming from/via China, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Thailand, and Japan.

In a letter to the Civil Aviation Ministry, the Health Ministry said, “As has been witnessed in the last 4 weeks, these countries are witnessing a sustained and significant decline in trajectory of Covid-19 cases. Further, as per World Health Organisation`s latest situational update on Covid-19, a decline of 89 per cent in the number of newly confirmed cases in the past 28 days has been noted globally as compared to 28 days prior to that.”

“Meanwhile, India has continued to witness a declining trajectory, with less than 100 new cases/day are being reported. In view of the above, this Ministry is updating its `Guidelines for International Arrivals`, and dropping the existing requirements of pre-departure Covid-19 testing and uploading of Self-Health Declaration on Ministry of Civil Aviation`s `Air Suvidha` portal applicable for international travellers coming from/via China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Republic of Korea, Thailand and Japan,” it said in the letter.

Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan has said in the letter, “In order to monitor infections due to mutated variants of SARS-CoV-2 among international travellers to India, the present exercise of random testing of 2 per cent travellers to India (irrespective of country of origin) upon arrival India shall continue.”

The new arrangement will come into practice from 11 a.m. on February 13.

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