Tamil Nadu govt issues SOP for chartered flights

Since after commercial flights were resumed, airline crew has been battling the fear of flying, as cases continue to surface at airports across the State.
A man sprays disinfectant near the exit terminal of Chennai Airport | ashwin prasath
A man sprays disinfectant near the exit terminal of Chennai Airport | ashwin prasath

CHENNAI: The government on Monday issued Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for chartered flights, wherein RT-PCR tests have been made mandatory for people coming from Maharashtra, Delhi and Gujarat. Individuals will be exempted from testing, if they produce COVID negative certificates, issued by an ICMR-approved lab, said the SOP.

For chartered flights from other countries, the SOP mandates RT-PCR tests be done on all persons, adding that they have to go underpaid institutional quarantine for 7 days, if tested negative. A repeat test will be done on completion of the period, and if tested negative, they would be sent for home quarantine.

People travelling for business purposes (both within and outside the State) are exempted from quarantine, if they propose to return within 48 hours. e-pass is mandatory to travel.

Since after commercial flights were resumed, airline crew has been battling the fear of flying, as cases continue to surface at airports across the State. Sources say, there could be around 15 to 20 cases of passengers testing positive at airports in TN.

Nigel Harris, a member of the Spicejet crew that flew from Chennai to Coimbatore, recalls his first day of flying after two months, and said it was ecstatic, but also shrouded with fear. The flight carried 120 passengers in the first run on May 25, and 74 while returning.

“The fear of catching the virus will be there among the crew, till a vaccine is found,” said Harris, adding that the key now is to follow the SOPs laid out by the ministry.

Protocol

If tested positive, individual to be taken to hospital, as per protocol
If  tested negative, individual to undergo home quarantine for 7 days

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