In view of the emergence of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, the Maharashtra government on Tuesday made institutional quarantine mandatory for passengers coming to the state from countries "at-risk" and also RT-PCR mandatory irrespective of vaccination status for those coming from other states.
Following the order, mass cancellations of flights to Mumbai are likely.
The Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus has been detected the South Africa and some other countries and has been declared as a variant of concern by the World Health Organisation. The Government of India has declared some countries as countries "at-risk".
Consequently, in order to restrict the transmission of the said virus variant into the State, in exercise of the powers conferred under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, Chairperson of the State Executive Committee of the State Disaster Management Authority has declared with immediate effect, the restrictions on air travel into the state.
The order copy read, "The restrictions imposed by the Government of India guidelines dated November 28, 2021 as well as future restrictions if any, shall act as minimum restrictions to be imposed."
DCP immigration and Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) to draft a proforma of declaration for all arriving passengers on international flights to declare details of the countries visited in the last 15 days. Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) to share the proformas with all airlines and the information regarding travel in the last 15 days shall be cross-checked by immigration on arrival. Incorrect information furnished by the passengers shall lead to action under relevant sections of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
The international passengers arriving from at-risk countries (declared by the Government of India from time to time) may be deplaned on priority and separate counters will be arranged by MIAL and Airport Authority for their checking. All such passengers shall have to undergo mandatory seven-day institutional quarantine and RT-PCR test to be carried out on days 2, 4 and 7 for these passengers.
The order copy read, "If any of the tests is found to be positive, then the passenger shall be shifted to a hospital. In case of all tests coming negative, the passenger will have to undergo a further seven days of home quarantine."
Passengers from any other countries except the at-risk countries will have to compulsorily undergo RT-PCR test at the airport on arrival and on being found negative, will have to undergo 14 days of home quarantine. If found positive, they will be shifted to the hospital.In case of an international passenger having a connecting flight to any other airport in India (without leaving the airport at all), passenger shall undergo an RT-PCR test at the first arrival airport in Maharashtra and only on being found negative will he be allowed to board the connecting flight. Information about such passengers shall be passed on by the airline of the connecting flight to the destination airport before take-off so that the destination airport can make arrangements for segregating these passengers on arrival.
In case such a passenger is taking a connecting flight to an airport in Maharashtra, the passenger shall be subjected to quarantine rules mentioned herein for landing directly from an international source.
In the case of domestic air travel, passengers travelling within the State will either have to be fully vaccinated or compulsorily carry an RT-PCR test within 48 hours of the time of arrival. In case of passengers from other States, negative RT-PCR test within 48 hours of arrival will be compulsory without exceptions. (ANI)