After more than two months of lockdown, domestic passenger flights across India are set to resume services from Monday with fresh guidelines from the health ministry and respective state governments which has cleared confusion over what norms may apply to travellers.
Clearing air over the quarantine rules, the health ministry put the onus on state governments to set protocols for isolation of flyers as per their discretion.
Some states like West Bengal and Maharashtra have been at the centre of a row with the Centre over the resumption of flight operations.
Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Bihar, Punjab, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir are among the states which have announced their respective quarantine measures for passengers arriving at their airports.
There will be minimum air services and delay in resumption in some states.
Here’s state-wise rules regarding air travel, quarantine:
The Maharashtra government on Sunday said it will allow 25 passenger flights to take off from and as many to land in Mumbai from Monday, adding that the number will be increased gradually.
The Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) has said that domestic operations will resume from May 25 at the Mumbai International Airport.
Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that limited flights will operate from Mumbai as per the approved 1/3 rd schedule from other airports in the state.
The Mumbai airport has even offered two slots per day to Air India from Monday in place of 10 slots offered earlier. One slot will be used for operating wide-body aircraft between Delhi and Mumbai preferably in the evening.
The first flight (Indigo airlines)to Mumbai from Jaipur will leave at 6 am on Monday.
Government officials said on Sunday night that airports in Kolkata and Bagdogra in cyclone-hit West Bengal will not operate any domestic flights between May 25 and 27 but will handle 20 flights each per day from May 28.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee earlier said that she will urge the Centre to postpone the resumption of domestic flight services at Kolkata and Bagdogra airports by a few days.
Hardeep Singh Puri said that there will be maximum 25 arrivals in Chennai but there’s no limit on the number of departures.
For other airports in Tamil Nadu, flights will operate as in other parts of the country.
1. All passengers will have to register on state’s specific portal for travel and get an e-pass before boarding. The government said that the passengers would be sent a travel permit with a QR Code which needs to be produced upon arrival at the airport.
2. They will have to undergo thermal screening. Passengers found without any symptoms will need to undergo home quarantine for 14 days, while the “regular operating procedure” would apply for those displaying coronavirus symptoms.
Hardeep Singh Puri said that the flight operations in Andhra Pradesh will start on Tuesday.
Passengers coming to Andhra Pradesh would be put under home quarantine, said the state government, adding that once their test results for Covid-19 come negative, they will be relieved from quarantine.
As per the guidelines similar to that released by the home ministry earlier, asymptomatic passengers can exit the IGI airport after the mandatory thermal screening.
Passengers with mild symptoms can home-isolate or choose government or private facility, the guidelines stated. Moreover, appropriate medical health will be provided to those showing symptoms.
People showing severe symptoms will be isolated and taken to a government facility.
First Air India flight to Jaipur from Delhi will arrive at the airport at 5:55 am on Monday.
The Uttar Pradesh government announced that travellers arriving in the state will be sent on a 14-day home quarantine period unless their visit to the state is for less than a week or if they clear the coronavirus test.
The state government said the passengers can get themselves tested on the sixth day from their arrival and end their quarantine period if tested negative for the novel coronavirus.
It said that all passengers travelling to Uttar Pradesh have to register themselves on a web site — http://reg.upcovid.in — and provide details of themselves and their family members travelling with them.
The airports in Hyderabad, Telangana, will handle 30 flights daily respectively from Monday, officials said. All flights account for the equal number of arrivals and departures, the officials added.
The Goa government said that all those arriving in the state would have to fill up a self-declaration form.
If found symptomatic, passengers will be tested and sent to quarantine and if found asymptomatic, then they would have to give swab tests by spending Rs 2,000 and would have to stay in self-isolation till the results come.
The Meghalaya government said that all passengers will be tested for the novel coronavirus and would have to undergo a 48-hour institutional quarantine.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had said all incoming passengers will be put in home quarantine for 14 days while the Bihar government said that travellers will be put on “paid quarantine” for 14 days.
The guidelines issued by the Mohali district administration stated that:
1. The airline will provide the list of the passengers to the district administration in advance
2. All Punjab bound passengers will be tested for Covid-19
At the airport
3. All passengers will have to undergo a.mandatory 14 day home quarantine
4. Airline will also share contacts and mobile phone numbers of passengers other than Punjab which will be passed to the deputy commissioner concerned
5. Passengers from other states including Haryana, Himachal and UT Chandigarh will not be tested and quarantined.
The Kerala government said on Friday that all flyers will be under 14-day home quarantine and that it has made an exception to those coming for business purpose or for a short duration.
All passengers travelling to Kerala must obtain digital passes by registering on the Covid-19 Jagratha web portal. Travellers can use own vehicle or rented vehicle to commute to their homes
14-days home quarantine is mandatory for all passengers coming to Kerala. In case the LSGI (Local self-government in India) does not confirm the availability of the proper home quarantined facility, the person will be shifted to institutional quarantine.
The standard operating procedure (SOP) issued on Sunday said symptomatic persons will be sent to either Covid Care Centre or hospital.
“After undergoing medical screening for any symptoms of Covid-19, asymptomatic persons shall undergo home quarantine and symptomatic will be sent to either Covid Care Centre or Hospital,” the order said.
The district administration will coordinator the operation of KSRTC buses to nearby district and towns.
Domestic flight operations in Manipur will resume from 9 am on Monday.
A news report quoted official sources saying that all passengers will undergo thermal screening on arrival. Those who are asymptomatic will be sent for home quarantine.
Any symptomatic passenger will be sent to an isolation ward, as per the protocol.
Maharaja Bir Bikram (MBB) airport authority said that all the flights operating to and from Agartala on Monday stand cancelled as all the flights are connected to Kolkata and the Kolkata airport is not available till May 27 in view of Cyclone Amphan.
The Bihar government said that 34 flights will operate from Patna airport and that boarding pass will act as a permission pass.
Domestic travellers will be home quarantines, while international travellers can use institutional quarantine.
The state government further said travellers will be put on “paid quarantine” for 14 days.
The first flight to Patna will arrive from Mumbai early Monday morning.
A total of 18 flights will operate from Patna to Delhi; six will fly to Mumbai and six others to Bengaluru and two each will fly to to Kolkata and Amritsar.
The Dharamshala administration said that the city will have two flights from Delhi and one from Chandigarh daily.
It also said that only those with valid address proof of the state should book tickets to the city. It also said that the traveller will have to obtain a district entry-pass.
JAMMU AND KASHMIR
According to the Jammu and Kashmir administration, a certain category of passenger will need to follow a “modified quarantine procedure”. Samples of these people will be collected on arrival and they will then be sent to home quarantine for 14 days. If tested positive, the passengers will be sent to a Covid hospital for recovery.
The procedure will apply to:
1. Pregnant woman in the last trimester, with a doctor’ss certificate of pregnancy.
2. Cancer patients on chemotherapy
3, Chronically ill patients, discharged from a hospital after a surgical procedure
4. Mothers with infants below 1 year
5. Children below 10 years travelling alone without a family
6. Government officials on bona fide government duty
7. Passengers with an RTPCR Test negative certificate from an ICMR approved laboratory; not older than two days before the arrival date.