With domestic passenger flights to resume from Monday after a hiatus of two months due to the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown, confusion prevailed on Sunday as different states imposed their own set of conditions on reopening airports.
On Sunday evening, Civil Aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri tweeted: “It has been a long day of hard negotiations with various state govts to recommence civil aviation operations in the country. Except Andhra Pradesh which will start on 26/5 & West Bengal on 28/5, domestic flights will recommence across the country from tomorrow.”
It has been a long day of hard negotiations with various state govts to recommence civil aviation operations in the country.
Except Andhra Pradesh which will start on 26/5 & West Bengal on 28/5, domestic flights will recommence across the country from tomorrow.
— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) May 24, 2020
Despite being vocal against resumption of domestic flights, Maharashtra bit the bullet and allowed Mumbai airport to handle 50 domestic flights per day.
“The government has agreed to allow 25 take offs and 25 landings everyday for domestic flights from Mumbai. This number will be increased gradually. The government will issue details and guidelines in this regard soon,” ANI quoted Maharashtra Minister Nawab Malik as saying.
Earlier in the day, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh tweeted that it was “extremely ill-advised” to reopen airports in red zones. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said he had spoken to Union Civil Aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri and requested him to give some time for preparations before resuming domestic air travel.
“Till the time MIAL (Mumbai International Airport Limited) plans and fine-tunes the airport operations, the aviation ministry should initiate minimum possible domestic flights from Maharashtra from May 25th, which are purely emergent in nature like for international transfer of passengers, medical emergencies, students, and cases on compassionate grounds,” Thackeray had said.
Echoing similar sentiments, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said she would urge the Centre to postpone the resumption of domestic flight services at Kolkata, which was recently battered by Cyclone Amphan, and Bagdogra airports by a few days. “Kolkata and Bagdogra airports to not operate any domestic flights between May 25-27; both will handle 20 flights per day from May 28,” PTI quoted an official as saying.
After the Centre announced the resumption of services, many states had expressed reservations. Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Bihar, Punjab, Assam and Andhra Pradesh have announced their respective quarantine measures for passengers arriving at their airports.
As flights resume, here are the rules and schedule set by states:
In Uttar Pradesh, travellers to the state will be under home quarantine for 14 days unless they are staying for less than a week or if they clear the coronavirus test earlier. They can get themselves tested for the virus on the sixth day from their arrival and end their quarantine if the results come out negative, PTI quoted Principal Secretary Medical and Health Amit Mohan Prasad as saying.
Outsiders on visits of less than a week to the state need not go into quarantine if they furnish details of their return journey. All passengers coming to UP will have to register themselves on http://reg.upcovid.in and furnish details of themselves and family members travelling with them. A message will be displayed on their phones after this and CISF personnel will let them leave the airport only after checking it.
In Karnataka, anyone coming from states where there is “high prevalence” of Covid-19 will be kept in institutional quarantine for seven days and if tested Covid-negative, the passenger will have to spend the next seven days in home quarantine.
Karnataka has classified Maharashtra, Gujarat, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh as “high prevalence” states. The passengers coming through remaining states in the country will have to undergo 14 days of home quarantine.
However, special cases where businessmen are coming for urgent work will not require to undergo any quarantine if they bring test results that are not more than two days old.
In Himachal Pradesh, the Dharamshala administration has said only persons with a valid address proof of the state should book tickets to the city and the flyer will have to obtain a district entry-pass. Dharamshala will have two flights from Delhi and one from Chandigarh daily.
The incoming person will have to obtain an entry pass from the concerned district administration, which will have to be shown on de-boarding the flight at Gaggal airport of Dharamshala.
“HP residents coming from red zone areas and those with ILI symptoms shall be put in institutional quarantine. And the persons, the non-residents of HP/Tourist shall not be allowed entry in to the district and they shall immediately be put in institutional quarantine before sending them back on their own expenses,” DC Kangra Rakesh Prajapati said.
Passengers coming to Andhra Pradesh will be put under home quarantine. However, once their test results for Covid-19 come negative, they will be relieved from quarantine. Vijayawada and Vizag airports to not operate any domestic flights on Monday. Services on these airports will begin from Tuesday.
Jammu and Kashmir
In Jammu and Kashmir, all incoming passengers will have to undergo “administrative quarantine” for a fortnight. Thirty kiosks have been set up at Srinagar airport for collection of samples.
In Kerala, all flyers will be put into 14 days’ home quarantine. However, the government has made an exception for those coming for business purposes or for a short duration.
In Punjab, all incoming passengers will be put in home quarantine for 14 days.
The Bihar government said travellers will be put on “paid quarantine” for 14 days.
The Chhattisgarh government said those showing no symptoms would be placed in 14-day quarantine at government centres, homes or paid facilities. Passengers will have to submit a written undertaking they will strictly follow isolation norms.
“Baggage will be sanitised at the airport and only select vehicles whose details are with the transport department will be allowed to pick and drop passengers,” General Administration Department Secretary Dr Kamalpreet Singh said.
Tamil Nadu government has decided to allow only 25 domestic flights per day to Chennai, no restrictions for Covai, Madurai & Trichy sectors. Flights from Maharashtra & Gujarat may be kept at the “barest minimum possible,” no restrictions for outgoing flights.
Assam will be putting flyers on a 14-day quarantine. The passengers will be distributed equally in home quarantine and government quarantine.
Domestic flight services will resume in the state from 9 am on Monday. As per official sources, all passengers will undergo full thermal scan on arrival. Those who are asymptomatic will be stamped for home quarantine.
Any symptomatic passenger or suspected passenger will be separated immediately and sent to Isolation Ward/ Covid-19 Treatment Ward by a medical team, as per the protocol.
Installation of Aarogya Setu has been made mandatory and only passengers with green status on the app are allowed to travel.
All taxi drivers registered with the transport department are exempt from curfew pass for pick-up and drops at the airport in Imphal. Private vehicles that go to pick up passengers shall carry either a soft copy or a hard copy of the boarding pass or ticket of the passenger, which shall be treated as curfew pass for that period. (Manipur inputs by Jimmy Leivon)
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines