Assam’s Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday said that all people entering the state, including those on domestic flights, will be quarantined, NDTV reported. Assam is a Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled state.
Sarma’s announcement came after Union Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said passengers travelling on domestic flights would not be placed in quarantine. Domestic air travel resumes on Monday.
“Assam government follows a policy of ruthless quarantine, whether a person comes by air, rail or road,” Sarma told NDTV. “Fourteen days’ quarantine is a must. However, it might be equally distributed between government quarantine and home quarantine.” He added that airline crew members would not be placed in quarantine.
During the coronavirus-induced national lockdown, India has repatriated hundreds of its citizens from abroad on flights that began on May 7. All those who returned to the country were placed in mandatory two-week quarantine.
The civil aviation ministry on Thursday released rules passengers and airlines would have to follow once flights resume, such as mandatory physical distancing at airport terminals and downloading the Aarogya Setu app. However, there will not be physical distancing maintained within the aircraft. Union minister Puri also reportedly asked why there was a “fuss over quarantine” of passengers travelling on domestic sectors. He said such quarantining was “not practical”.
Domestic flights were suspended on March 23 when the country went into lockdown to combat the spread of the virus.