In light of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) strain that has been detected in the United Kingdom (UK), the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra state government on Thursday issued an order to include Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for international passengers arriving from Europe, South Africa, and the Middle East.
A government order on this day detailed the extension of the SOPs 'Mission Begin Again' and stated that flights coming through the airports of Europe, South Africa, and Middle East shall be monitored "with immediate effect".
In addition to the earlier rules, the new addendum modifies a certain protocol for passengers coming in via flights from Europe, South Africa, and Middle-East.
According to the new order, asymptomatic passengers who have arrived in the aforementioned flights will not be required to immediately undergo an RT-PCR test. Instead, they will now be taken to a "paid institutional quarantine facility (hotel)".
However, RT-PCR test will be conducted between the fifth to the seventh day at the hotels, the cost of which will have to be borne by the quarantined passengers, the order states.
"If the report is found to be negative, the concerned passengers would be discharged from the institutional quarantine with seven days of mandatory home quarantine. If the test result is found positive, but the patient is asymptomatic, then he/she will be required to continue the institutional quarantine in the same hotel or in the COVID-19 hospital till 14 days," the order added.
Further, all norms of social distancing and precaution to prevent COVID-19 detailed in earlier orders shall be followed.
These include mandatory 15 days institutional quarantine for passengers coming in from Europe and Middle East. Passengers coming from other international destinations other than Europe and the Middle East will have to undergo home quarantine.
The circular had also mentioned that considering the prevailing situation in the UK, the Indian government has decided that all flights originating from the UK to India shall be temporarily suspended till 11:59 pm, December 31.
Airlines operating flights to/from India from other countries shall not board any passenger from the UK to India and shall ensure that no passenger coming from the UK is boarded in the flight for any destination in India either directly or indirectly.