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Omicron variant | South African passengers need to quarantine upon arrival in Mumbai

An Air India aircraft is pictured at a terminal of the airport in Mumbai on October 9, 2021.  

In the wake of a new variant of coronavirus, the Maharashtra Government on Saturday issued new set of guidelines making two doses of COVID vaccination certificate mandatory for all domestic travellers, or shall be required to carry a COVID negative report of RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival.

The State Government in its order on Saturday said that all economic, cultural, social, sports and entertainment activities will now be allowed as per the normal timings decided by various local or other competent authorities before the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Explained | What is the new coronavirus variant in South Africa?

Elaborating on the restrictions and guidelines, the State Government circular said that all persons connected with the organisation of any programme, event or show, ticketed or non-ticketed as well as service providers and participants (like players, actors), visitors, guests, and customers shall be fully vaccinated. All public transport shall be used by fully vaccinated persons. The universal pass created by the State Government shall be a valid proof of reference of full vaccination.

The State Government guidelines have fixed that in cases of the program, event, or activity is being held in an enclosed/closed space, people up to 50% capacity of that space be allowed. In case of open spaces, people up to 25% of the space capacity are allowed. However, the local administration holds the final word in deciding the occupancy of any given event.

In case of total attendees exceeding 1000 even after following the above mentioned norms, the local disaster management authority will have to be informed and they can send their representatives to supervise the event.

The State Government while detailing the definition of being fully vaccinated said that, any person who has received both doses of COVID vaccine and 14 days have lapsed since the administration of the second dose, or any person having medical condition that does not allow him or her to take the vaccine, or a person who is less than 18 years of age.

The State Government has also appealed citizens to follow COVID appropriate behaviour, failing to do would result in individuals being fined of ₹500, while the establishments can be fined up to ₹10,000.

Meanwhile, in view of the new contagious variant ‘Omicron’ of COVID-19 being found in South Africa, Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar on Saturday said that all the passengers coming to the city from the country will be quarantined. The samples of these passengers will also be sent for genome sequencing, she said.

“There is an increased risk of coronavirus infection in foreign countries, so those coming from outside will have to undergo genome tests,” she said, adding that the Mumbai civic body is scheduled to holding a meeting on this later in the day.

She added that similar restrictions might come into force for the passengers coming from other countries affected by the new variant of the virus.


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Printable version | Jan 18, 2022 5:05:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/omicron-new-guidelines-for-maharashtra/article37728904.ece

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