Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Come December 1, arrivals from Omicron-hit nations will need negative Covid report for onward journey

New Delhi: Starting 12.01 am Wednesday (December 1), passengers flying in or transiting from countries affected by the Omicron variant of the coronavirus will need a mandatory negative report of RT-PCR test conducted on arrival in India for leaving the airport, else they would be sent to government-identified quarantine centres.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Monday night issued an order asking airports to have “separate holding area (while passengers from at-risk countries are awaiting their RT-PCR test results)… with proper amenities for passengers (and) protocols to avoid congestion”. “Signages may be put up at prominent places and volunteers may be placed to guide the passengers to prevent any chaos.”

The regulator has the asked the airlines to put in place a mechanism for testing 5% of arriving passengers from the countries not at risk. “Announcements as to the seat numbers selected through the randomisation process may be made in the flight itself so that the passengers are prepared,” the order says.

“All incoming passengers accordingly may be advised, while filling up Air Suvidha portal, that they should plan their onwards journey keeping in mind the stay at the airport to obtain the test results. They should also be prepared for movement to state government-identified quarantine facilities if they test positive at the airport,” it says. All international arrivals have to give travel history of the last 14 days.

As of November 26, the Union health ministry’s list of at-risk countries include those in Europe, apart from South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong and Israel. This risk-based list will keep getting updated as the situation evolves. Given the fact that international air travel was picking up in past few months, the task at hand for testing all arrivals from there will be a logistical challenge. Airline and airport operators have begun gearing up for the same.

30/11/21 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

To Read the News in full at Source, Click the Headline


Post a Comment