Centre issues guidelines for international arrivals, makes 14-day quarantine mandatory

NEW DELHI, May 24:
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Sunday issued guidelines for international travel arrivals to India, which include 14-day mandatory quarantine.
The 14-day quarantine includes seven days institutional quarantine at own cost, followed by seven days of home isolation. ”Before boarding, all travellers shall give an undertaking that they would undergo mandatory quarantine for 14 days – 7 days paid institutional quarantine at their own cost, followed by 7 days isolation at home with self-monitoring of health,” the guidelines said.
The guidelines came a day after Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri stated that the government was trying to restart international flight operation by mid-June or July.
Earlier, the Civil Aviation Ministry allowed resuming domestic flights from May 25. India had banned all international flights to control the spread of COVID-19, which was affected more than one lakh people across the country.
The Health Ministry said only for exceptional and compelling reasons such as cases of human distress, pregnancy, death in family, serious illness and parent(s) accompanied by children below 10 years, as assessed by the receiving states, home quarantine may be permitted for 14 days.
”Use of Aarogya Setu app shall be mandatory in such cases,” it said and added, ”all passengers shall be advised to download Arogya Setu app on their mobile devices”.
The Ministry further stated that at the time of boarding the flight or ship, only asymptomatic travellers will be allowed to board after thermal screening.
”Passengers arriving through the land borders will also have to undergo the same protocol as above, and only those who are asymptomatic will be enabled to cross the border into India,” it said. It also instructed that self-declaration form in duplicate shall be filled by the person in the flight or ship and a copy of the same will be given to Health and Immigration officials present at the airport, seaport or Iandport.
The form may also be made available on Aarogya Setu app. ”Suitable precautionary measures such as environmental sanitation and disinfection shall be ensured at the airports as well as within the flights,” it said.
The Ministry further advised that during boarding and at the airports, all possible measures to ensure social distancing to be ensured.
”Suitable announcement about COVID-19 including precautionary measures to be followed shall be made at airports, port and in flights, ships and during transit,” it said.
In the guidelines, the Ministry also advised while on board the flight or ship, required precautions such as wearing of masks, environmental hygiene, respiratory hygiene, hand hygiene etc are to be observed by airline or ship staff, crew and all passengers.
On arrival, thermal screening would be carried out in respect of all the passengers by the health officials present at the airport, seaport or landport, it said. The passengers found to be symptomatic during screening shall be immediately isolated and taken to medical facility as per health protocol and the remaining passengers shall be taken to suitable institutional quarantine facilities, to be arranged by the respective state, union territory Governments. (UNI)