Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) has announced new rules for all passengers arriving from the United Kingdom, including mandatory RT-PCR Covid-19 testing and seven-day institutional quarantine. The announcement came amidst the resumption of flight services between India and the UK on Friday.
Several passengers arriving at the Delhi airport seemed unhappy about the mandatory institutional quarantine which they were unaware of while departing, news agency PTI reported. While India’s national carrier Air India had said that the passengers were informed before departure, Vistara’s former chief strategy and commercial officer Sanjiv Kapoor called the move as “ridiculous.” Air India also said that 20 passengers cancelled their flights after being informed about the advisory, according to the PTI news report .
In a tweet, DIAL asked all passengers arriving from the UK to strictly adhere to the new rules. “Flight operations from the UK have resumed from 0:01 hrs. 8th January 2021. All arriving passengers from the UK to Delhi Airport must adhere to the following,” DIAL tweeted, listing the rules to be followed.
According to DIAL’s latest passenger advisory, RT-PCR Covid-19 test has been made mandatory for all passengers in both the UK and India. Passengers can use the Air Suvidha portal of the airport’s official website to upload or self-report their Covid-19 negative test results before departure from the UK. The test should have been taken 72 hours before the commencement of the journey, the announcement said.
Passengers should also bear the expense of the RT-PCR test and access to lounge facilities, which costs Rs 3,400 per person. They should also expect a waiting time of up to 10 hours for the test results. On arrival of the test results, all passengers are expected to undergo a seven-day institutional quarantine followed by a week-long home quarantine.
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The measures have been taken in the light of a new announcement from the Delhi government after flight services from the UK were resumed. “To protect Delhiites from exposure to virus from UK, Del govt takes imp decisions. All those arriving from UK, who test positive will be isolated in an isolation facility. Negative ones will be taken to a quarantine facility for 7 days followed by 7 days home quarantine,” Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal announced earlier in the day.
Flight operations between India and the UK were suspended on December 21, 2020, following the rapid spread of a new mutation of the novel coronavirus was detected in the UK. India opened its airspace on January 8, 2021, for inbound flights from the UK.
India has reported 82 patients infected with the new strain of Covid-19 detected first in the United Kingdom, according to the Union ministry of health.
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