No pre or post-arrival COVID testing for kids below 5 years on international travels

According to the newly revised SOP guidelines for international arrivals released on Thursday by the Health Ministry, children below five years are exempted from both pre-and post-arrival testing for Covid-19 in India.

However, if the children are found symptomatic for coronavirus infections on arrival or during the home quarantine period, they shall proceed with the testing and be treated according to protocol. This standard operating procedure (SOP) shall be valid from November 12 (00.00 hours IST) till further orders, the Ministry stated.

The Health Ministry said that the guidelines for international arrivals in India have been reviewed in view of increasing vaccination coverage across the globe and the changing nature of the pandemic.

Observing that the global trajectory of the Covid-19 pandemic continues to decline with certain regional variations, the document stated the need to monitor the continuously changing nature of the virus and evolution of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern must still remain in focus.

As per the revised rules, all travelers should submit a self-declaration form on the online Air Suvidha portal before the scheduled travel, upload a negative 19 RT-PCR report, the test of which should have been conducted within 72 hours prior to undertaking the journey. Each passenger must also submit a declaration with respect to the authenticity of the report, it said.

This standard operating procedure shall be valid from November 12 till further orders, the ministry stated.

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