The Indian Ministry of Civil Aviation on Wednesday issued new guidelines for international flyers in view of the spread of different variants of the coronavirus. The guidelines will come into effect on February 23 and remain in place till further orders. The guidelines came after mutant coronavirus strain that originated in South Africa was detected in four people in India, while the variant from Brazil was found in one person.

In a statement, the ministry said that all international travellers will be required to submit a self-declaration form for Covid-19 on online Air Suvidha portal and upload a negative RT-PCR test report conducted 72 hours before the travel. Passengers from the United Kingdom, Europe and the Middle East will need to declare their travel history of the last 14 days, in addition to the above-stated requirements.

The exception will be for passengers who are travelling because of a death in the family.

“Airlines should identify the international travellers arriving from/transiting through United Kingdom, Brazil and South Africa [during past 14 days] and segregate them in-flight or while disembarking to facilitate the authorities to follow the due protocol in respect of these travellers,” the statement said.

Passengers from the UK, Europe and the Middle East will be subjected to self-paid confirmatory molecular test upon arrival. Their phone numbers and addresses mentioned in the self-declaration form would also be verified.

If the passengers from the UK, Europe and the Middle East test negative, they will remain in home quarantine for seven days, the statement said. Those found positive will sent to isolation units. “While necessary treatment as per the existing protocol will be given, the patient shall be tested on 14th day, after having tested positive in the initial test,” the ministry said. “The patient will be kept in the isolation facility till his sample is tested negative.”

It said that states may consider additional requirements with regards to testing, quarantine and isolation as per their risk assessment. However, they would have to intimate the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare before taking additional measures and publicise the same on their websites.

India on Wednesday recorded 11,610 new coronavirus cases, taking its tally to 1,09,37,320, the health ministry data showed. Deaths rose by 100 to 1,55,913. As many as 1,06,44,858 people have recovered from the infection, pushing the recovery rate to 97.33%. The active caseload went down to 1,36,549, which is 1.25% of the total positive cases.