Home >News >India >Thermal screening, quarantine mandatory for air travel, says govt
Photo: HT
Photo: HT

Thermal screening, quarantine mandatory for air travel, says govt

  • Travellers found symptomatic of covid will be isolated and taken to the nearest health facility, as per government guidelines
  • States and Union territories are to ensure travellers undergo thermal screening at departure points, say the guidelines

NEW DELHI : The government issued fresh guidelines on Sunday for all modes of travel, including trains, interstate buses and crossing state borders, a day before the planned reopening of domestic air travel. The guidelines issued by the health ministry followed rules listed by the civil aviation ministry to airport operators, airlines, air travellers and other agencies involved in civil aviation.

According to the health ministry guidelines, all states and Union territories will have to ensure that all passengers undergo thermal screening at the point of departure and only asymptomatic passengers are allowed to board the flight, train or inter-state bus. During boarding and travel, face covers or masks will be mandatory and passengers are advised to download the Aarogya Setu app on their mobile devices. As per the guidelines, even asymptomatic passengers will be required to self-monitor their health for 14 days.

“In case they develop any symptom, they shall inform the district surveillance officer or the state/national call center (1075). Those found symptomatic will be isolated and taken to the nearest health facility. They will be assessed for clinical severity at the health facility," the guidelines stated.

“Those having moderate or severe symptoms will be admitted to dedicated Covid Health facilities and managed accordingly. Those having mild symptoms will be given the option of home isolation or isolated in the Covid Care Centre (both public and private facilities) as appropriate and tested as per Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) protocol," the ministry said, adding that states can also develop their own protocol on quarantine and isolation as per their assessment.

The government has asked the airports, railway stations and bus terminals to follow precautionary measures such as social distancing, and ensuring the availability of soaps and sanitisers on flights, trains and buses along with thermal screening at exit points.

After opening up domestic air travel, India has said that it will consider opening up international air travel, too, in a calibrated way, starting with arrangements for the return of non-resident Indians (NRIs) who are ordinarily resident abroad but are struck in India. The health ministry on Sunday also issued guidelines for international arrivals. It said that before boarding, all travellers shall give an undertaking that they would undergo mandatory quarantine for 14 days. The safeguards mandate 7 days of institutional quarantine at the traveller’s own cost, followed by 7 days isolation at home with self-monitoring of health. For exceptional and compelling reasons, as assessed by the receiving states, home quarantine may be permitted for 14 days.

neetu.s@livemint.com

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