Flyers From 4 States To Maharashtra Need COVID-19 Negative Certificate

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Pandemic Domestic airport COVID-19 - aviatorsbuzz
A representational picture of passengers at an airport. Source: CTV News

All domestic air passengers arriving in Mumbai and other airports including Pune, Nagpur, Nashik, Shirdi, Jalgaon and Aurangabad in Maharashtra from four states will have to mandatorily carry a COVID-19 negative (RT-PCR) test report.

Rail passengers will also need to carry a similar report, while those traveling by road will be subject to a temperature check at the border check posts.

 

Who Should Test 

The order, which comes a day after Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray urged the people of the state not to lower their guard against COVID-19 and follow the safety protocols strictly in order to avoid imposition of another lockdown, is applicable every passenger arriving from Delhi-NCR, states of Goa, Rajasthan and Gujarat. These states have witnessed increasing number of cases in the past few days.

Sample collection in 72-hours

The new Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) ordered by the state government will come into effect from November 25. Passengers will have to get their RT-PCR sample collection done within 72 hours before the scheduled time of landing at airports in Maharashtra, the state government said in a statement.

“The Airports Authority of India is requested to check for the report before allowing the passengers to board the flight,” the government notification said adding that “Only after taking the test, the passengers will be allowed to go home by the Airport Operator.”

The contact information and address shall be collected for those taking the test at the airport in order to facilitate contact, in case the report comes negative.

COVID-TEST - Aviatorsbuzz
A passenger undergoing a swab test for COVID-19. Source: Frommers

Testing at Mumbai Airport

“Passengers not having the RT-PCR test reports will have to compulsorily undergo RT-PCR tests at concerned airports at their own costs. The airport shall arrange the testing centres and charge the passengers directly for testing,” the statement read.

Impact on Mumbai Flights  

The Delhi-Mumbai with 22 flights one-way is the single biggest route. Airline officials believe that mandatory RT-PCR tests would impact already impacted loads on the route further. Officials said that passengers who are booked to fly to Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur etc. using connecting flights via Delhi will be hit by this move. 

Affected Airports 

  • Pune,
  • Nagpur,
  • Nashik,
  • Shirdi,
  • Jalgaon and
  • Aurangabad

Airports Unaffected 

Kolhapur and Nanded airports will be unaffected by the new Maharashtra government order as they do not receive any flights from from airports in Delhi-NCR, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Goa.  

New Passenger Rules

All domestic passengers travelling from airports in Delhi-NCR, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Goa shall carry RT-PCR negative test report with them before boarding and show it to the teams at the arrival airport.
  1. Passengers not having the RT-PCR test reports fulfilling conditions above in 1 and 2, shall compulsorily undergo RT-PCR test at the concerned airports, at their own cost. The Airport shall ring the testing centres and charge the passengers directly for testing.
  2. Only after undertaking the test, the passengers will be allowed to go home by Airport Operator. The Contact information and address shall be collected from all passengers who undergo tests at the airport by Airport operator to facilitate contact, in case the test report comes positive.
  3. Passengers whose report comes positive will be contacted and treated as per the existing protocol.
  4. The concerned Municipal Commissioners will be the Nodal Officers for the same and ensure that the above instructions are followed strictly.

Railways

  1. All passengers travelling to Maharashtra by trains originating or having halt/stop at stations in Delhi-NCR, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Goa shall carry with them RT-PCR negative test report before they decide to enter Maharashtra.
  2. The RT-PCR sample collection should have been done within 96 hours before the scheduled arrival in Maharashtra.
  3. Passengers not having the RT-PCR test negative report shall be screened for symptoms and body temperature at the railway stations.
  4. The passengers without symptoms would be allowed to go home.
  5. Passengers who display symptoms shall be segregated and made to undergo Antigen test. If the Antigen test comes negative, the passengers will be allowed to go home.
  6. Passengers found COVID-19 positive, shall be sent to COVID Care Centre (CCC) for further care. The cost of further care, including CCC, shall be borne by the passenger themselves.
  7. The concerned Municipal Commissioners/District Collectors will be the Nodal Officers for the same and ensure that the above instructions are followed strictly.

Road Travel

  1. The concerned District Collectors of land border districts shall make arrangements to ensure that the passengers coming from the NCR of Delhi, States of Rajasthan Gujarat and Goa shall be tested for symptoms including body temperature.
  2. The passengers without symptoms will be allowed entry: Passengers with symptoms shall have the option of turning back and go to their home to recuperate.
  3. Passengers who display symptoms shall be segregated and made to undergo Antigen Test. If the Antigen test comes negative, the passengers will be allowed to travel further into Maharashtra.
  4. Passengers not testing/found COVID-19 positive shall be sent to COVID Care Centre (CCC) for further care. The cost of further care, including CCC, shall be borne by the passenger.