December 2, 2021
Omicron COVID virus variant has been the headline news around the world. First reported by South Africa, the mutated virus has reportedly affected even vaccinated people. Moreover, unconfirmed reports indicate that it is highly contagious.
India has deferred an earlier decision to allow resumption of scheduled commercial flights starting December 15th. It is likely that the ban will continue for some time. However, flights under the “air bubble” program will continue with a number of countries including the USA.
While a number of States in India have tightened testing rules for international passenger, the State of Maharashtra has announced mandatory institutional quarantine of 7 days for all passengers arriving from 50 “at-risk” countries. Latest update : Only travelers from 3 countries (South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe) will be subject to 7 day mandatory institutional quarantine by Maharashtra. This affects pas These countries including Europe and UK but not USA. Now that a patient has tested positive for the Omicron virus in California it is possible that US may be added to the list.
USA has announced that effective Monday December 6th 2021 that all air travelers, regardless of citizenship or vaccination status, will be required to show a negative pre-departure COVID-19 viral test taken the day before they board their flight to the United States.
For post-travel recommendations, the CDC also suggests vaccinated travelers get tested three to five days after arriving in the U.S. and that unvaccinated travelers stay home to self-quarantine for a full seven days, even if they test negative during that timeframe.
Thousands of US residents have started traveling to India recently. More are planning on traveling to India this month. It is important to keep in mind that India and USA may issue new “possible” potential new travel restrictions. Let us hope that the current vaccines are capable of preventing the spread of the new virus strain.