There was chaos at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi Airport on Friday (January 8) when passengers were left confused by a sudden and last-minute change in quarantine rules by the Arvind Kejriwal government. As per the new rules, it is mandatory for all passengers from the UK to undergo institutional quarantine, followed by seven days home isolation, even if they get a negative RT-PCR test. The rule was announced on Friday morning but after an Air India flight had already taken off from London.
Many passengers took to Twitter to air their grievances, tagging Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in their messages.
One passenger told NDTV that he had done a RT-PCR test, which gave a negative result, in London and Air India accepted the test result while boarding.
Chief Minister Kejriwal had appealed to the Centre to extend the ban on flights from the United Kingdom till January 31. But it was not heeded and, hence, the notification was announced by Kejriwal, who tweeted about it, but the passengers who flew before the announcement had no inkling about it.
Delhi government responded to a passengers’ complaint on Twitter and wrote:”… as per Delhi government’s latest mandate, all passengers arriving from the UK will have to undergo mandatory RT-PCR test in the UK as well as in India. Passengers are also required to undergo a mandatory 7-day institutional quarantine on arrival,” the airport said.
The centre had suspended flights between India and the UK on December 23 over fears of the new coronavirus strain, which is said to be 70 per cent more infectious. France, Spain and Germany, however, have extended the flight ban to UK.
Delhi has reported more than 12 cases of the new coronavirus strain, which was first identified in the UK.
Maharashtra has also declared the same quarantine rules as Delhi for passengers returning from the UK.