New Delhi: The Maharashtra government on Thursday (December 24) released a new guideline for travelers coming from South Africa, Europe and the Middle East. The fresh circular said that these passengers will not be subjected to RT- PCR test for coronavirus immediately upon arrival.

The circular amended the Standard Operating Protocol (SOP) issued for dealing with passengers arriving from these regions on December 21 following the detection of a new variant of coronavirus in the UK.

The circular said, “On arrival, no RTPCR test will be conducted for the other asymptomatic passengers who will be taken to a paid institutional quarantine facility (hotel). However, RTPCR test will be conducted between 5h to 7h day at the hotels the cost of which will have to be borne by the quarantined passengers.”

“If the report is found to be negative, the concerned passengers would be discharged from the institutional quarantine with 7 days of mandatory home quarantine. If the test result is found positive, but the patient is asymptomatic, then he/ she will be required to continue the institutional quarantine in the same hotel or in the COVID-19 hospital till 14 days,” the circular added.

It may be noted that 7-day institutional quarantine has been made mandatory for asymptomatic passengers arriving from Europe, South Africa, and the Middle-East. Symptomatic passengers are immediately shifted to designated hospitals.

The circular further said that the test will be conducted at the hotel where the passenger is quarantined between the 5th and 7th day, adding that the cost of the test will be borne by the passenger.

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