The Maharashtra government on Tuesday made seven-day institutional quarantine mandatory for travellers from “at-risk” countries.

The state government issued the strict rules amid worries about the Omicron variant of Covid-19, which the World Health Organization has designated as a variant of concern.

The Maharashtra government’s rules are in addition to travel guidelines that the Centre issued on November 28. The rules on “at risk” countries apply to passengers from Europe including the United Kingdom, South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong and Israel.

Passengers arriving from these countries may be deplaned on priority and separate counters will be arranged by airport authorities for checks. RT-PCR tests will be conducted on these flyers on the second, fourth and seventh days of their institutional quarantine period.

If any of these tests shows a positive result, the passengers will be shifted to a hospital. If all the tests are negative, they will have to undergo seven more days of home quarantine.

Passengers from other countries will have to undergo an RT-PCR test on arrival at the airport. If the test is found to be negative, they will need to undergo home quarantine for 14 days.

Domestic passengers travelling to Maharashtra will need to carry a negative RT-PCR test carried out less than 48 hours before the flight. Domestic travellers within Maharashtra will have to either show that they are fully vaccinated or carry a negative RT-PCR test result.

On Sunday, the Union government issued revised guidelines requiring passengers from “at-risk countries” to undergo a test on arrival and home quarantine for seven days if they test negative.

They will also have to undergo a test on the eighth day.

Six international passengers from “at-risk” countries have tested positive for the coronavirus in recent days, The Indian Express reported.