The Union Health Ministry on Saturday (January 2) issued standard operating procedure (SOP) for all passengers coming from the UK between January 8 and January 30. The SOP said all passengers would be subjected to self-paid COVID-19 tests on arrival, PTI reports.
Each passenger arriving from the UK would have to bring one’s COVID-19 negative report from a test done 72 hours prior to the journey, the SOP said.
India suspended all flights to and from the United Kingdom from December 23-31 to check the spread of the mutated, more contagious variant of the coronavirus found there. The suspension has been extended till January 7.
According to the SOP, airlines will have to ensure the availability of a coronavirus negative test report before allowing passengers to board the flight. Those who test negative for coronavirus would be advised quarantine at home for 14 days.
The SOP shall be valid till January 30. All international travellers will need to declare, as per existing procedure, their travel history (of past fortnight) and fill up the self-declaration form to be screened for coronavirus
Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Friday said that flights between India and the UK will resume on January 8. Till January 23, the flight operations will be restricted to 15 flights per week each for carriers of the two countries to and from Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad only.
“The states/UTs (Union Territories) governments concerned are requested to set up help desks at airports concerned to facilitate implementation of the SOP,” it added.
The presence of the new UK variant of the virus has already been reported by Denmark, Netherlands, Australia, Italy, Sweden, France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Japan, Lebanon and Singapore.
Scheduled international passenger flights continue to remain suspended in India since March 23 due to the pandemic.
However, airlines have been permitted to operate special international flights under the Vande Bharat Mission since May last year and under the bilateral air bubble pacts since July.