After an official announcement from the Ministry of Civil Aviation last week, domestic flights in India have begun operations in a graded manner from today. All states will open up their airport except Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal, which will resume flights from May 26 and May 28 respectively.
The domestic flights have commenced operations after being grounded for two months since March 25 amidst a nationwide lockdown to contain the outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus.
Maharashtra, which has been reporting an exponential rise in the number of COVID-19 cases took a U-turn to allow 25 flights departures and 25 arrivals, a few days after Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray displayed resentment in opening the state’s airspace, deeming it too soon.
As per the mandatory guidelines issued by the Department of Health and Family Welfare, the thermal screening will be done at the exit points of the airport, Asymptomatic patients will be asked to observe self-quarantine for the following 14 days, while those found with symptoms will be taken to the nearest health facility. Passengers with moderate or severe symptoms will be given the option of self-isolation or isolated in a COVID care centre.
However, in addition to the aforementioned guidelines, different states have also issued their own advisories and guidelines. Here is a list of the states and their prescribed guidelines.
Passengers flying to Rajasthan will undergo home quarantine for a period of 14 days. The breach of quarantine will either be dealt with legal actions or institutional quarantine or a fine. Additionally, any passenger who wishes to return within seven days of landing must take an RT-PCR test.
Jammu and Kashmir
Passenger bound to Jammu and Kashmir will have to undergo mandatory COVID-19 test followed by institutional quarantine for 14 days. They will be under institutional quarantine until they test negative. Once tested, passengers can either opt for administrative quarantine or paid quarantine.
Passengers travelling from the red zone will be mandated to institutional quarantine for 14 days. Meanwhile, the ones travelling from orange or green zones will undergo thermal screening and asked to home quarantine for 14 days. Those under institutional quarantine will undergo COVID-19 test between the sixth and tenth day of the quarantine period if found negative. If a passenger is carrying a COVID negative report issued three days prior to the date of travelling, they will be sent for home quarantine.
All passengers bound to Uttarakhand flights will undergo institutional quarantine for a specific time period. They will be allowed to choose a quarantine centre for themselves on the basis of payment.
All incoming passengers will be required to observe home quarantine for 14 days.
Passengers flying to Uttar Pradesh will first be asked to register their details on a government portal following which there will be a mandatory 14-day home quarantine. Passengers who cannot quarantine themselves for 14 days can also opt for institutional quarantine. Apart from that, passengers who are planning to travel somewhere within the next seven days will be asked to submit their travel plans and will be allowed to skip quarantine. However, people who are on a short stay are directed to stay away from containment zones.
Symptomatic passengers landing in Madhya Pradesh will undergo COVID-19 test and will be allowed to leave once tested negative. However, if the passenger tests positive in the test, then depending on the symptoms they will be sent to either a COVID-19 hospital or institutional quarantine facility for 10 days. After 10 days if such a patient shows no symptom for another three days, he can be discharged.
Symptomatic passengers bound to Chattisgarh will be sent to isolation kiosks at the terminal. After taking their samples, they will be sent to the institutional quarantine facilities set by the district authorities. Meanwhile, asymptomatic passengers will be sent to either quarantine centre or home quarantine or institutional quarantine on a paid basis. They will provide an undertaking that they will follow all rules of quarantine for a period of 14 days.
Every person flying to Odisha will have to mandatorily stay in home quarantine for at least 14 days. In case if the passenger does not have a proper quarantine facility at home, they are instructed to opt for institutional quarantine or paid quarantine for a duration as directed by local authorities.
Kavaratti will only be accepting passengers with COVID-19 test report issued two days prior to the arrival. On arrival, the passengers have been instructed to observe home quarantine for the next 14 days and a valid entry permit will be needed except for those who are employed in Lakshadweep or native islanders.
Dadra and Nagar Haveli
All incoming passengers will have to undergo 14 days of institutional quarantine. Samples of the passengers will be taken between the fifth and 14th day of quarantine. If the test is negative then home quarantine is allowed for pregnant and lactating women, children below 10 years of age, elderly above 80, people with special needs and people with serious morbidities.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Symptomatic patients will be isolated at the designated COVID-19 care centres while asymptomatic passengers will be allowed to travel to their destinations by local or private transport after thermal screening at the airport.
All incoming passengers must submit their details on the state government’s online portal. All passengers will be taken to Shillong or Tura for testing and will be kept under institutional quarantine for upto 48 hours till the results are known. It is to be noted that Meghalaya has not allowed pick-up for incoming passengers until June 10. The state government will be arranging transport from Shillong or Tura.
All incoming passengers in Mizoram will have to undergo mandatory quarantine for 14 days. Passengers will undergo screening for COVID-19 and rapid antibody test prescribed by the state government.
Passengers travelling from the orange or green zone will be screened on arrival and if found asymptomatic will undergo institutional quarantine for three days. This will be followed by an additional 14 days of home quarantine. Meanwhile, passengers travelling from red zones will undergo institutional quarantine for 14 days followed by home quarantine for an additional 14 days.
Passengers travelling from high prevalence states are mandated to be kept under institutional quarantine for 7 days and after negative COVID test, they should be sent for another 7-day home quarantine. As of May 22, states with high prevalence cases include Maharashtra, Gujarat, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. Meanwhile, returned from all the other states will be required to observe 14 days of home quarantine.
Asymptomatic passengers will undergo home quarantine while symptomatic passengers will either be sent to COVID care centre or a hospital. The state has made it mandatory for all passengers to undergo 14 days of home quarantine.
Delhi will follow the guidelines laid out by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.