Updated: Thu, 02 Dec 2021 06:58 PM IST
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: As India reports its first two cases of the new, more infectious Omicron variant of COVID-19, the Maharashtra government on Thursday revised its travel rules for international passengers flying into the state. As per the amended rules by the state government, seven-day institutional quarantine has been made mandatory for passengers arriving in Maharashtra from South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe.
In the case of domestic air travel, passengers will either have to be fully vaccinated or compulsorily carry an RT-PCR Test certificate showing negative results within 72 hours before boarding. The Maharashtra government has also categorised Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa as "High Risk Countries".
"Categorisation as "High-Risk Countries" is a dynamic exercise based on evolving situation of Omicron variant and hence will be updated as required by Govt of Maharashtra", the Maharashtra government said in its order.
Earlier, the state government's November 30 order had made institutional quarantine mandatory for passengers arriving from all 'at risk' countries in the central government's list in view of the Omicron variant threat.
Maharashtra Chief Secretary Debashish Chakravarty earlier in the day had said the state government was considering a revision of its guidelines, a day after the Centre wrote to the state saying its order was in divergence with the COVID-19 guidelines issued by the Union government.
The Centre on Wednesday asked the Maharashtra government to align the orders with the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
In a letter to the Additional Chief Secretary of Maharashtra government, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said, "This is in divergence with the SoPs and the guidelines issued by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of lndia".
Health Secretary, in the letter, further said, "This is in divergence with the SoPs & guidelines issued by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of lndia. I would, therefore, urge you to align the orders issued by the state with the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, so that uniform implementation of the guidelines may be ensured across all states and UTs".
"I would also advise that such modified orders of the State Government are given wide publicity to obviate any inconvenience to travellers," the letter read.