The administrations of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala, Assam and Jammu and Kashmir announced that all passengers arriving by domestic flights will have to undergo either home or institutional quarantine, The Indian Express reported on Saturday. The announcement came after Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Thursday said that there would be no 14-day quarantine for passengers on domestic flights.
Earlier this week, the Ministry of Civil Aviation announced that some domestic flights will begin to operate from May 25. Flights have been grounded since March 25 after the government banned air travel to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
The governments of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have decided to quarantine people arriving on flights as well as other modes of transport. Andhra Pradesh has recorded 2,709 cases so far and 55 deaths, according to figures from the health ministry. Telangana has 1,761 cases and 45 deaths.
Assam Minister of Health Himanta Biswa Sarma had also said that the state will quarantine passengers flying in for 14 days. Assam has recorded 259 cases and four deaths so far.
In Karnataka, people arriving from high-risk states will have to undergo quarantine, the director general of police said. Passengers coming in from Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Delhi, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh will stay in institutional quarantine for seven days and this will be followed by home quarantine. Meanwhile, those arriving from other states will have to stay in home quarantine for 14 days.
On May 18, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa had barred the entry of people from Maharashtra, Gujarat, Kerala and Tamil Nadu to the state till May 31, and announced a complete lockdown on Sundays to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The state has reported 1,743 cases and 41 deaths.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday said that all those arriving via domestic flights will have to undergo quarantine for 14 days, according to PTI. However, the people who come for business needs for a short duration have been exempted from this rule.
“Some business executives may visit the state for a meeting or something and we cannot demand 14 days quarantine for them,” Vijayan said, adding that necessary health precautions will be taken in such cases.
On May 8, the state had only 16 active cases, but it has seen 200 new cases in the past two weeks. The rise in cases is attributed to the arrival of repatriation flights from the Middle East and people entering from other states. Kerala has so far recorded 732 cases and four deaths.
Meanwhile, Kashmir Divisional Commander PK Pole told the newspaper that at least 15 flights are expected to arrive in Srinagar from next week. “All those passengers arriving at Srinagar airport will be put under administrative quarantine and tested,” he said.
On Thursday, the Airports Authority of India issued standard operating procedures for resuming domestic flight operations. The key guidelines include mandatory use of Aarogya Setu app for those above 14 years, sanitation of baggage before entering the airport and restrictions on vehicles entering the departure zone, among others. Only one check-in bag and a cabin baggage will be allowed. Meals will not be provided on board.