Mumbai: A few days after the announcement of the partial resumption of flights from 8 January, the government on Saturday issued Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for passengers arriving from the United Kingdom amid concerns over the new COVID-19 strain.
Apart from a limited number of flights, India has made a negative COVID test report mandatory for all passengers from the UK.
Airlines must ensure the availability of coronovirus negative test reports before allowing passengers to fly. The government stated in the SOP that all passengers arriving from the UK would be compulsorily subjected to self-paid RT-PCR tests at Indian airports. Those who test negative for coronavirus will be advised to quarantine at home for 14 days.
The SOP will be valid until January 30 (23:59 pm) or until the next order, whichever comes first. All international travellers described within the scope mentioned above will be required to fill in a self-declaration for coronavirus according to the current process, their travel history (of the last 14 days).
During the period from 8 January to 30 January, all travellers arriving from the UK must submit a self-declaration on the online portal (newdelhiairport.in) at least 72 hours before the scheduled visit.
All passengers arriving from the UK must submit a negative RT-PCR test report, which has to be tested 72 hours before starting the trip. Airlines have been instructed to ensure the availability of negative test reports to passengers before taking off.
The SOP said, “All passengers arriving from the UK on all international flights will inevitably be subject to self-paid RT-PCR tests upon arrival at Indian airports,” the government said in the SOP.
The Center has also directed states and UTs to set up help desks at airports to facilitate the implementation of the process.
It states, “Passengers positive tests [for coronaviruses] will be isolated by state health officials in an institutional isolation facility in a coordinated (separate) unit. They would take necessary action to send the positive samples to Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) Labs.”
If the genomic sequencing indicates the presence of the new variant of SARS-CoV-2 then the patient will continue to remain in a separate isolation unit. The passenger will continue to remain in isolation till s/he tests negative.
It also asked the states/UTs (union territories) government to set up help desks at airports to facilitate the implementation of the SOP.