New rules for domestic travel during the lockdown were released by the government today, including advising passengers to download the Aarogya Setu application on their mobile devices and asking states to ensure thermal screening at departure point of airports, railway stations and bus terminals. The guidelines were shared by Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, who also shared new rules for international travel. The minister had recently said that international flight operations may start by mid-June or end-July if the COVID-19 virus "behaves in a predictable manner".
"Prescribed clinical protocol will be followed in case any domestic or international traveller shows symptoms of COVID-19. States can also develop their own protocol for quarantine and isolation as per their own assessment," Mr Puri said.
The guidelines come a day before the resumption of air travel after nearly two-months hiatus following lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The Indian Railways has also issued a list of 100 pairs of trains that it will operate from June 1, putting in operation popular trains such as Durontos, Sampark Krantis, Jan Shatabdis and Poorva Express.
Dos and Don'ts shall be provided along with tickets to travellers by agencies concerned, said the Health Ministry's guidelines for domestic travel (air/train/inter-state bus travel).
Latest guidelines on domestic & international travel have been issued by @MoHFW_INDIA.— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) May 24, 2020
I hope travellers strictly follow these self-regulatory norms & strengthen India's hands in this fight against COVID19. Remember, each one of us is a soldier against the pandemic.@MoCA_GoIpic.twitter.com/xVbTG1K44n
Travellers shall give 14-day quarantine undertaking before boarding
The states and Union Territories shall ensure that all passengers undergo thermal screening at the point of departure and only asymptomatic passengers are allowed to board the flight, train or bus. Asymptomatic passengers, however, will be permitted to travel after they give an undertaking to self-monitor for 14 days, the ministry said.
Those having moderate or severe symptoms will be admitted to dedicated COVID health facilities and managed accordingly, the guidelines said.
Those having mild symptoms will be given the option of home isolation or isolated in the COVID Care Centre (both public and private facilities) as appropriate and tested as per ICMR protocol, they said.
"If positive, they will continue in COVID Care Centre and will be managed as per clinical protocol. If negative, the passenger may be allowed to go home, isolate himself/herself and self-monitor his/her health for further 7 days," the health ministry said.
In case, any symptoms develop they shall inform the district surveillance officer or the state or the national call centre (1075), it said.
Use of face covers, following respiratory hygine during travel
During boarding and travel, all passengers shall use face covers or masks and will also follow hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene and maintain environmental hygiene, the ministry said in its guidelines.
At airports, railway stations and bus terminals, required measures to ensure social distancing shall be taken, the guidelines said.
Airports, railway stations and bus terminals to be regularly sanitised
Airports, railway stations and bus terminals should be regularly sanitised or disinfected and the availability of soaps and sanitisers shall be ensured, the health ministry said.
The ministry said that states can also develop their own protocol with regards to quarantine and isolation as per their assessment.
Guidelines for International Travel
The guidelines for international travel include mandatory undertaking for quarrantine for 14 days. "Only for exceptional and compelling reasons such as cases of human distress, pregnancy, death in family, serious illness and parent(s) accompanied by children below 10 yrs, as assessed by the receiving states, home quarantine may be permitted for international travellers for 14 days," the Civil Aviation minister said.
Asymptomatic travelers will be allowed to board flight/ship
At the time of boarding the flight or ship, only asymptomatic travellers will be allowed to board after thermal screening, the health ministry said.. Passengers arriving through land borders will also have to undergo the same procedure, it said.
"Self-declaration form in duplicate shall be filled by the person in the flight/ship and a copy of the same will be given to Health and immigration officials present at the airport/seaport/landport. The form will be made available through the Aarogya Setu app," the new order said.
Passengers found to be symtomatic during screening shall be immediately isolated and taken to medical facility as per health protocol. "These passengers will be kept under institutional quarrantine for a minimum period of 7 days and should undergo necessary tests as per ICMR protocol," the guidelines said.
Sanitisation and disinfection must inside flights
Authorities must take adequate measures to such as environmental sanitation and disinfection at the airports as well as within the flights, the guideline said.Suitable announcement about COVID-19 including precautionary measures to be followed shall be made at airports/ports, it added.
While on board flight, ships, passengers and crew required precautions such as wearing of masks, environmental hygiene, respiratory hygiene, hand hygiene, the ministry said.
This morning, India registered the biggest-single day jump in the number of coronavirus cases as 6,767 new patients were reported in the last 24 hours. This is the third consecutive day that India has reported more than 6,000 COVID-19 cases with a record number of new patients each day. The county has officially logged 1,31,868 cases, 3,867 deaths linked to the highly infectious illness since the pandemic began. Of these, 147 patients died in the last 24 hours. The global number of novel coronavirus cases has passed 5.25 million with more than 339,000 deaths. Since the outbreak first emerged in China in December, 5,260,970 cases have been recorded across 196 countries and territories, with 339,758 deaths attributed to the virus.