Mumbai airport says passengers from Middle East, Europe will be subject to institutional quarantine

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Mumbai, Dec 22 (PTI) Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) has said all passengers arriving from the Middle East and European countries will be subjected to mandatory institutional quarantine from Tuesday.

The new rules for the passengers travelling via the Mumbai airport, including those having connected flights, are in line with the directives issued by the state and central governments on Monday, the airport operator said in a release.

The central government on Monday said all the UK-India flights will be suspended from December 23 to December 31 in view of the emergence of a new coronavirus strain in that country.

It also said all passengers coming from the UK on Monday and Tuesday would be compulsorily tested for coronavirus on arrival at airports.

Separately, the Maharashtra government in a circular on Monday said it has decided to conduct institutional quarantine for all passengers from all over Europe and the Middle East for 14 days after landing at the airport, as well as home quarantine for passengers from other countries.

'Effective December 22, passengers arriving from the Middle East and European countries, irrespective of their further travel plans, will be subjected to mandatory institutional quarantine.

'Any passenger identified as being symptomatic on arrival will be transferred to designated COVID-19 facility for further evaluation,' CSMIA said in a statement.

Passengers arriving from these regions will be transported by state officials to nearby hotels of their preference to undergo institutional quarantine for seven days at their own cost, it added.

According to the airport operator, on Monday, CSMIA had four flights — one from Amsterdam and three from London — carrying over 690 passengers; while on Tuesday, there was no flight either arriving or departing from and to London, it said.

However, there are five flights arriving and eight departing to Dubai and one departing for Doha, it added.

In the absence of regular flight service on overseas routes, which are suspended since late March, special international flights are being operated under the Vande Bharat Mission since May and under bilateral 'air bubble' arrangements with selected countries since July.

CSMIA said that according to the guidelines, instead of undergoing a test at the airport, passengers will have to undergo the RT-PCR test during the 5th-7th day of the institutional quarantine at the hotel at their own cost.

Passengers with a negative test report will be discharged to observe home quarantine for seven days. Meanwhile, passengers with a positive report will be directed to continue to quarantine at the same hotel or in a state-designated COVID-19 facility for 14 days, it said.

The airport operator also said the government's decision to impose a night curfew between 11 pm and 6 am from December 22 till January next year will not have any impact on its operations, which will 'continue as scheduled'.

Passengers travelling to and from the airport during the specified hours will be allowed to proceed onwards as cab services and public transportation will remain operational at all time, it added. PTI IAS HRS