Indian skies will open up for domestic passenger flights from Monday after a gap of two months but there was confusion following imposition of own set of conditions and rules by several states which are at odds with each other.
Many states like Maharashtra, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu were opposed to opening up of their airports in view of rising cases of the coronavirus infection, making it difficult for the airlines as well as the civil aviation authorities to resume services.
In the midst of uncertainty and confusion, representatives of airline and several states held multiple meetings with top officials of the Civil Aviation Ministry on Sunday covering a range of contentious issues like quarantine rules for flyers and standard operating procedures for leading airports, officials said.
Following negotiations, it has been decided that Mumbai airport will deal with only 50 domestic flights per day from Monday while the Kolkata and Bagdogra airports in West Bengal will handle domestic services from May 28. Airports in Andhra Pradesh will resume operations from Tuesday, May 26.
The government last week announced resumption of the domestic flight services from May under specific rules and guidelines like cap on ticket pricing, wearing of face masks by passengers, no food served on board planes and making available details of medical conditions by travellers through Aarogya Setu app or by filling up of a self-declaration form.
However, many states expressed serious reservations to the Centre's decision to start the flight services. Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Bihar, Punjab, Assam and Andhra Pradesh have announced their respective quarantine measures for passengers arriving at their airports. Some states decided to put passengers on mandatory institutional quarantine while several others talked about putting them under home quarantine. Here are the different operating procedure’s issued by different states.
Making thermal screening, social distancing and Arogya Setu app on mobile essential, the Delhi government on Sunday directed all departments to follow the guidelines issued by the Central government for domestic travel through air.
In an order signed by Delhi Chief Secretary Vijay Dev, Delhi government noted that those found symptomatic will be isolated and taken to the nearest health facility. They will be assessed for clinical severity at the health facility.
The guidelines also said that those having mild symptoms will be given the option of home isolation or isolated in the Covid Care Centre (both public and private facilities).
Karnataka government has said returnees from six states with high COVID-19 caseload -- Maharashtra, Gujarat, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh -- will be kept in institutional quarantine for seven days.
After the returnees test negative for the disease in pool testing, they will be sent for home quarantine for another seven days.
Returnees from other low prevalence states will be asked to follow 14 days of home quarantine, according to the standard operating procedure (SOP) for entry of persons from other states to Karnataka.
The standard operating procedure (SOP) issued by Kerala government said that symptomatic persons will be sent to either COVID Care Centre or Hospital.
As per the guidelines, all passengers had to register their details with the Covid-19 Jagratha web portal.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had earlier said that those who reach the state in flights for any urgent "business meets" would require to travel back within a day or two and the state will not insist such persons to not undergo the strict quarantine of 14 days.
Tamil Nadu government has made it mandatory for incoming passengers to register themselves in TNePass portal as part of their standard operating procedure (SOP). Passengers will also have undergo mandatory 14-day home quarantine even if asymptomatic.
As per the circular consisting SOPs, the passengers must fill in all the details on the online portal.
For the passengers going out of Tamil Nadu, all domestic air travellers will undergo medical screening as stipulated by Airport Authority and people with positive symptoms will be sent to the health facility for further testing. Only asymptomatic persons will be allowed to board the flight, the circular stated.
Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir administration has said air travellers to the state will be kept in quarantine centres for 14 days and tested for coronavirus. Thirty kiosks have been set up at Srinagar airport for collection of samples.
The passengers shall be lodged in various accommodations arranged by the district administration concerned. Besides, paid quarantine facility has also been made available for the convenience of the passengers.
The people interested to return to Chhattisgarh from other states must register themselves with the state portal, and district collectors would inform the nodal officers of the concerned gram panchayat or urban wards to ensure compliance of quarantine protocols after the arrival of the passengers.
Those showing no symptoms would be placed in 14-day quarantine at government centres, homes or paid facilities. Passengers will also have to submit a written undertaking they will strictly follow isolation norms.
Odisha Government has made 14-day quarantine mandatory for the returnees in the State. In rural areas, seven-day institutional and seven-day home quarantine while in urban areas, the 14-day home quarantine will be compulsory.
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