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Travellers from seven African countries including South Africa must stay in 14-day institutional quarantine, said Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) on Thursday night.

CAAB on Thursday night issued a few new travelling guidelines to curb the spread of Omicron, a new variant of the novel coronavirus.

The CAAB notice said travellers from any country to Bangladesh have to have a Covid negative certificate provided through RT-PCR test before 48 hours of the travel. Earlier, the time was 72 hours. However, the Covid test is not mandatory for children below 12 years of age.

People travelling from Botswana, Ghana, Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Eswatini must stay in 14-day institutional quarantine at hotels chosen by the government. The travellers will have to choose the hotel before boarding the flight and bear the cost of quarantine.

The passenger under quarantine will have to go under Covid test twice, first after seven days and another test after 14 days at their own expense, the CAAB notice added.

The CAAB notice further said if the test report of any passenger is found to be positive, s/he will be sent on isolation and if the test result is negative, the passenger will have to return to follow the quarantine rules for another seven days. If the passenger comes out negative in the second Covid test after 14 days, s/he can leave the centre.

The notice, signed by CAAB Flight Standard and Regulations member Group Captain M Zia Ul Kabir, said the directive will be implemented from Saturday (4 December). Travellers from other countries than the seven mentioned in the notice have to follow the guidelines the CAAB issued on 23 November.

The guidelines issued on 23 November said the people who are inoculated with one or two doses of vaccines and travelling to Bangladesh from 13 countries -- Armenia, Bulgaria, Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Mongolia, Palestine, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia and Ukraine -- will have to stay in home quarantine for seven days. And, the unvaccinated travellers will have to stay in institutional quarantine in Bangladesh for seven days, the guidelines added.

The 23 November guidelines issued by CAAB further said vaccinated travellers from countries other than the 13 countries mentioned will not have to stay in quarantine in Bangladesh. But if anyone does not wish to be inoculated before coming to Bangladesh have to stay in home quarantine for 14 days.