NEW DELHI: The passengers reaching India from the UK between January 8 and January 30 will have to carry negative RT-PCR tests and will be subjected to selfpaid Covid-19 tests on arrival, the Centre said in a standard operating procedure issued on Saturday. Travellers from the UK will need to get their negative reports from tests done 72 hours prior to the journey, as per the guidelines. India had suspended all flights to and from the UK from December 23 to 31 to check the spread of the mutated and more contagious variant of coronavirus found there. Later, the suspension was extended till January 7.
The restrictions however will be relaxed from January 8 and 30 flights per week will operate between India and the UK in an arrangement that will continue till January 23. “Airlines to ensure the availability of negative test reports before allowing the passenger to board the flight,” the health ministry’s SOP said, adding that adequate arrangements should be made for the passengers who will be waiting for their RT-PCR test or its results at the airport.
“Passengers testing positive shall be isolated in an institutional isolation facility in a separate (isolation) unit coordinated by the respective state health authorities,” the SOP said. If the genomic sequencing indicates the presence of the new variant of SAR S-CoV-2, the patient will continue to remain in a separate isolation unit, as per the guidelines. The patient will be tested on the 14th day after having tested positive and he or she will be kept in the isolation facility till his or her sample has tested negative, it added.
If a passenger tests Covidpositive on arrival, passengers seated in the same row, three rows in front and three rows behind would also be subjected to institutional quarantine in separate quarantine centres, as per the planned protocol. The passengers who are found Covid-negative after the tests conducted at the airport would be advised home quarantine for 14 days and the concerned state or district administration should regularly follow up with them.