The Govt. on Friday announced that flight operation between India and UK will resume from 8th January 2021 and also issued Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for passengers who will be arriving from the UK after the resumption.
Initially, the flights for the United Kingdom will only be operated To/From Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad; Also the flight operations till January 23rd will be restricted to 15 flights per week each for Indian and UK carriers.
“It has been decided that flights between India & UK will resume from 8th January 2021. Operations till 23 Jan will be restricted to 15 flights per week each for carriers of two countries to & from Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru & Hyderabad only.”Hardeep Singh Puri, Twitted
Puri, further added that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) will be issuing a detailed guideline shortly.
As per the announcement, here is the guidelines issued by the Govt.
The passengers coming from UK during the intervening period from 8-20 January will be mandatory following these rules issued by health ministry:
- All passengers should submit self-declaration form on the online portal (www.newdelhiairport.in) at least 72 hours before the scheduled travel.
- All the passengers arriving from U.K. should be carrying Negative RT-PCR Test Report for which test should have been conducted within 72 hours prior to undertaking the journey. The same also shall be uploaded on the online portal (www.newdelhiairport.in)
- Airlines to ensure the availability of negative test report before allowing the passenger to board the flight.
- In-flight announcements must also be made explaining the relevant information to the passengers. Relevant information in this regard shall be prominently displayed in arrival area and waiting area of the airports of arrival.
- All the passengers arriving from UK in all international flights would be mandatorily subjected to self-paid RT-PCR tests on arrival at the Indian airports concerned (port of entry). vii. Adequate arrangements for passengers waiting for their RT-PCR test as well as test results duly following effective isolation may also be made at the airports in conjunction with the airport authorities.
- The States/UTs Government concerned are requested to set up Help Desks at airports concerned to facilitate implementation of the SOP.
- Passengers testing positive shall be isolated in an institutional isolation facility in a separate (isolation) unit coordinated by the respective State Health Authorities. They would earmark specific facilities for such isolation and treatment and take necessary action to send the positive samples to Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) Labs.
- If the report of the sequencing is consistent with the current SARS-CoV-2 virus genome circulating in the country; the ongoing treatment protocol including home isolation/treatment at facility level as per case severity may be followed.
- If the genomic sequencing indicates the presence of new variant of SARSCoV-2 then the patient will continue to remain in a separate isolation unit. While necessary treatment as per the existing protocol will be given, the patient shall be tested on 14th day, after having tested positive in the initial test. The patient will be kept in the isolation facility till his sample is tested negative.
- Those who are found negative on testing with RT-PCR at the airport would be advised quarantine at home for 14 days and regularly followed up by the concerned State/District IDSP.
- The State-wise passenger manifest of the flights from UK landing at Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai airports in India for the said period shall be conveyed by the Bureau of Immigration to State Government/Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) [[email protected] and designated e-mails provided by the respective State Governments] so that this data would be provided to the surveillance teams. This data of manifests provided by Bureau of Immigration will be supplemented by the online Self-Declaration Forms available on ‘AIR SUVIDHA’ portal.
- All the contacts of those travellers who arrived at various airports between 8th and 30th January 2021 and tested positive on arrival during the air travel would be subjected to institutional quarantine in separate quarantine centers and would be tested as per ICMR guidelines (or earlier if the passenger develops any symptoms suggestive of COVID-19). Contacts testing positive shall be accordingly further followed as mentioned in Clause (ix). (* Contacts of the suspect case are the co-passengers seated in the same row, 3 rows in front and 3 rows behind along with identified Cabin Crew)
- All the community contacts of those travellers who have tested positive (during home quarantine period) would be subjected to institutional quarantine in separate Quarantine Centers for 14 days and tested as per ICMR protocol.
- Information regarding any passenger covered within the scope of this SOP, who has moved to another State will be immediately notified to the concerned State Health Authority. If any passenger is not traceable initially or during any duration while being followed up should be immediately notified to Central Surveillance Unit of IDSP by the District Surveillance Officer.
However, till now, India has reported around 29 positive cases for the SARS-COV-2 variant so far, which is believed to have a higher rate of transmission.
The United Kingdom was one among the 24 nations with whom India had an air bubble arrangement.
Prior to the temporary suspension, Air India, Vistara, British Airways, and Virgin Atlantic were operating over 60 flights every week, carrying around 2,500 passengers per day.