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Last Updated – 11 November 2020

The Indian travel sector has slowly re-invented itself to the new normal. From immunity insurances to contactless travel to open-dated accommodation packages, the Indian tourism industry is taking baby steps to breathe into the new life. Travellers with an itchy foot have already started planning their next vacation and have started to remain up to date with the upcoming travel news and guidelines.

Are you planning to travel to Bihar? Read on to know more about the latest quarantine rules and COVID-19 testing guidelines in Bihar.

Bihar quarantine rules

As of 3 November 2020, active COVID cases in Bihar has crossed 7,001, with 2.10 lakh successful recoveries (1 Lakh equals 100,000).

Both domestic as well as international passengers arriving at any of the airports in Bihar will be thermally screened. If found symptomatic, they will have to get tested for COVID-19 at their own expense.

Domestic passengers

There is no restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons, private vehicles and goods including those for cross land-border in Bihar; without the necessity of permission, approval or e-permits.

All domestic travellers to Bihar will be thermally screened and sample for COVID-19 testing will be collected from symptomatic passengers. There is no mandatory quarantine for asymptomatic passengers and they will be permitted to go with advice to monitor their health for 14 days. All passengers are also mandated to submit a filled self-declaration form at the time of arrival at the airport.

International passengers

According to the Bureau of Migration, all international passengers travelling to Bihar must mandatorily fill an online self-declaration form at least 72 hours prior to their departure to India. On arrival all passengers are mandated to undergo quarantine for 14 days – 7 days paid institutional quarantine at their own cost, followed by seven days of isolation at home/ suitable accommodation with self-monitoring of health.

For compelling reasons or cases of human distress such as pregnancy, death in the family, severe illness and parent(s) with children of the age of 10 years or below, home quarantine may be permitted for 14 days (i.e. No institutional quarantine).

Travellers may also seek exemption from institutional quarantine by submitting a negative RT-PCR test report on arrival. This test should have been conducted within 96 hrs prior to undertaking the journey. The test report should be uploaded on the portal for consideration.

A few hotels in Bihar are providing paid institutional quarantine facilities for international travellers. Readers are advised to check with the hotel authority regarding the facilities’ current status to quarantine travellers.

COVID-19 testing facilities and guidelines in Bihar

As sanctioned by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), coronavirus tests in Bihar are of the following types: Real-time RT PCR tests, Rapid Antigen tests, CBNAAT tests, and TrueNat tests.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar recently stated that the state government will bear the entire expenses incurred on the treatment of the coronavirus patients.

Per the advisory released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the ICMR said that ideally all of the residents of a containment zone should be tested by the rapid antigen tests to curb the spread of the virus. It also said that even asymptomatic residents in containment zones who aged above 65 years or suffering from comorbidities should be brought under the net of testing.

Similar guidelines were issued for individuals above 65 years of age who had come in direct contact with a confirmed Coronavirus patient at home or working space. It also said that all asymptomatic health workers and frontline workers should also be tested.

Along with government medical centres, numerous private labs have been set up following ICMR guidelines to meet the COVID-19 testing demands in Bihar. You can find a list of government and private labs in Bihar from where you can get a COVID test report here. There are an estimated 48 government hospitals/ laboratories and 13 private ones in the state of Bihar doing COVID-19 testing using various diagnostic modalities.

What do you need to know and prepare before getting tested?

You should get tested for COVID-19 if you have one or more of the following clinical symptoms for a prolonged duration: fever, difficulty in breathing, cough, sore throat, running nose, loss of taste or smell, and body pain. It would take anywhere between 3 hours to 2 days for the test results to arrive. Until then, you must isolate yourself to prevent the spread of infection.

It’s recommended that you call the toll-free number 1075 or central helpline number +91-11-23978046 for information before going to get tested. In Bihar, you may also call 104, the state helpline number for COVID-19.

You will likely be charged INR 2,500 for an RT-PCR test in Bihar.

Please carry your government ID card (Aadhar card/Passport/Voter ID) and proof of your address when you proceed to get tested at any of the laboratories/ hospitals.