A laboratory technician carries swab samples collected from passengers amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) at Indira Gandhi International Airport, in New Delhi.(REUTERS)
A laboratory technician carries swab samples collected from passengers amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) at Indira Gandhi International Airport, in New Delhi.(REUTERS)

Govt releases SOP for travellers flying from UK: All you need to know

The new SOP was published in the wake of growing concerns around the new mutant variant of the coronavirus recently detected in the UK. As per experts, it is a more contagious variant of the coronavirus which spreads more rapidly than other mutations.
By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Shivani Kumar | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 02, 2021 03:25 PM IST

The government of India on Saturday issued a new standard operating procedure (SOP) for travellers arriving from the United Kingdom.Under the new SOP, all passengers coming from the UK between January 8 to January 30 will be subjected to self-paid Covid-19 test on arrival. While they will also be required to carry a negative test report which should be done 72-hour prior to their journey.

The new SOP was published in the wake of growing concerns around the new mutant variant of the coronavirus recently detected in the UK. As per experts, it is a more contagious variant of the coronavirus which spreads more rapidly than other mutations.

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India had suspended all flights to and from the United Kingdom from December 23 to 3. Later, the suspension was extended till January 7. Aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Friday announced that only 30 flights will operate between India and the UK from January 8. The arrangement will continue till January 23.

So far, countries including India, Denmark, Netherlands, Australia, Italy, Sweden, France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Japan, Lebanon and Singapore have reported the confirmed cases of new UK variant of the virus.

Here is what the SOP says:

1) All international travellers who will be travelling from the UK to India will be required to declare their travel history of the past 14 days. They will then submit the declaration on the online portal (www.newdelhiairport.in) at least 72 hours before the scheduled travel.

2) All the passengers arriving from the UK are required to the carry negative RT-PCR test report which should be obtained 72 hours prior to the journey. The same will also need to be uploaded on the same portal mentioned above.

3) After arriving at the Indian airports, all passengers will be subjected to self-paid RT-PCR tests. In the case of positive test results, passengers will be isolated in an institutional isolation facility in a separate (isolation) unit coordinated by the respective state health authorities.

4) Meanwhile, passengers seated in the same row of the Covid positive patient, three rows in front and three rows behind would also be subjected to institutional quarantine in separate quarantine centers.

5) The passengers who are found Covid-negative after the tests conducted at the airport would be advised home quarantine for 14 days and the concerned state or district administration should regularly follow up with them.

6) In case, the genomic sequencing indicates the presence of new variant of SARSCoV-2 then the patient will continue to remain in a separate isolation unit. The patient will remain in the isolation unit as per the existing protocol. The patient will be kept in the isolation facility till his sample is tested negative.

7) The States/UTs Government concerned are requested to set up Help Desks at airports concerned to facilitate the implementation of the SOP.

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