Air bubbles for international flights: Home Secy reviews arrangements for arriving travellers

By: |
July 24, 2020 5:01 PM

The arrangements being made for passengers arriving through air bubbles flights were discussed at a high level meeting chaired by Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla on Thursday.

international passengers, Air bubbles, health screening, institutional quarantine, Ajay Bhalla, air bubbles flights, covid 19 outbreak, Hardeep PuriAll passengers will have to undergo the mandatory health screening which includes a primary screening by Airport Health Officials (APHO). (Representational image:AP)

All international passengers arriving through flights arranged under air bubbles are subjected to two layers of health screening besides mandatory seven days institutional quarantine at their own cost followed by a seven day home quarantine, officials said on Friday.

The arrangements being made for passengers arriving through air bubbles flights were discussed at a high level meeting chaired by Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla on Thursday. Secondary health screening at the final destination state, deployment of additional health personnel for triage in the arrival area and for health checkup in the departure area were some of the key issues reviewed by Bhalla along with top officials of the Ministries of Health, Civil Aviation and Bureau of Immigration, a home ministry official told PTI.

On July 16, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri had announced that India has established individual bilateral bubbles with France and the US that would allow airlines of each country in the pact to operate international flights.
Air France is operating 28 flights between Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Paris from July 18 to August 1 while American carrier United Airlines is flying 18 flights between India and the US from July 17 to July 31.

Similar arrangements with Germany and the UK will soon be permitted. As per the government mandate, passengers arriving at Delhi airport by international flight with no onward connection must undergo seven days institutional quarantine at their own cost followed by seven days of home quarantine.

All passengers will have to undergo the mandatory health screening which includes a primary screening by Airport Health Officials (APHO). This includes thermal temperature screening by discreetly mounted, highly accurate, mass screening cameras.

The travellers who are planning to stay on in Delhi-NCR will also be required to undergo a secondary screening at the Delhi government post after which they will be allowed to proceed to the approved quarantine location, another official said.

The officials from Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand are positioned at the separate triage facilities created at ‘Meeters & Greeters’ area and passengers belonging to these states should report directly at the respective state post, the official said.

Passengers upon arriving at the first airport of disembarkation in India are advised to be quarantined at the city of arrival. Passengers seeking exemption will need to fill an exemption form and discuss their case with government officials (in the ‘meet and greet’ corridor) inside the terminal on arrival.

If exemption from quarantine in Delhi is approved and their final destination is another state they must make arrangements for quarantine on arrival in the respective state with the government officials.

At the Delhi airport, passengers may be considered for exemption only if they fall into one of the four exemption categories. They are: pregnant women, suffered a death in the family, suffering from serious illness (description to be provided), and parents accompanied by children below 10 years.

Documents required for consideration of exemption requests include a medical certificate, death certificate, copy of passport, and ticket for next flight, the official said.

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