In a fresh order issued by the Andaman and Nicobar Administration, the Union Territory has made an important announcement regarding Covid-19 testing norms for incoming travellers and tourists. All asymptomatic fully vaccinated visitors coming to Port Blair are exempted from carrying a negative RT-PCR test report with immediate effect, irrespective of type of vaccine and country of origin.
The notification issued by the Principal Secretary, Health and Civil Aviation, Dr V Candavelou stated that such fully vaccinated individuals shall produce the final vaccination certificate at the origin airport/seaport in the mainland and at the Port Blair airport or seaport.
Other travellers who are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, or symptomatic of Covid-19 will continue to be required to produce a negative RT-PCR test report not older than 48 hours before the scheduled departure. Such passengers will also have to undergo additional RT-PCR test on arrival at the Port Blair airport and they will have to remain in quarantine till the test results are obtained. Is a travellers is tested positive on arrival, then prescribed quarantine protocol are to be followed.
The A&N Administration further asked all the airlines to ensure strict compliance of the order and observe Covid appropriate behavior. Earlier in February, the authorities had announced the opening of all tourist sports on the islands for tourism activities. Night curfew has also been withdrawn with no restriction on movement. In another update, The Veer Savarkar International Airport in the Port Blair is scheduled to remain closed for four days a week till May 2022 for runway repair works. The move is expected to severely impact tourism activities and arrival numbers on the islands. In view of rising Omicron cases, the A&N Administration in the second week of January had announced closure of all tourist spots until further orders. Last week, the authorities had announced to open tourist spots with 50 per cent capacity and specific operational timings for tourism activities. The stakeholders are suggesting the UT Administration to reconsider the decision and have urged the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and Ministry of Defence to explore all possibilities to avoid closure of the runway.