All Passengers Arriving from Middle East, Europe to be Subjected to Mandatory Quarantine: Mumbai Airport

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The city'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. It also said that on Monday the airport received four flights -- one from Amsterdam and three from London -- carrying over 690 passengers; while on Tuesday, there was no flight either arriving from or departing to London. Of the three flights from London on Monday, one was operated by the national carrier Air India while the UK-based carriers Virgin Atlantic and British Airways operated the remaining two flights, a CSMIA spokesperson said.

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 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 on institutional quarantine for all passengers from 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 its 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.

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 fifth-seventh 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. 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 Tuesday 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.