Centre on Thursday said that it will test 2% of the total international passengers for Covid-19 after they arrive at the airports, reported ANI. The rule will come into effect from 10 am on December 24.

The guideline was issued after Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting which was also attended by Union Minister of Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia.

The 2% of passengers will be identified by the airline, and they will be allowed to leave the airport only after giving their samples for Covid-19 tests, a letter by Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said. Samples that test positive will be sent for genome sequencing.

“Passengers who are found symptomatic during screening at the airport will immediately isolated and taken to a designated medical facility,” the Ministry of Health said.

The latest measure comes after a surge in Covid-19 cases was reported in neighbouring China and some other countries. A sub-lineage of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus – known as BF.7 – is said to be driving the recent spike in cases in China. The subvariant was first identified in India in July.